NYMC Faculty Publications

Anti-Gravity Treadmill Training for Freezing of Gait in Parkinson's Disease

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Brain Sciences

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Background: Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by motor impairment. Freezing of gait, impaired mobility and falls are common problems in these patients. We aimed to evaluate the effect of a novel therapy for these patients.

Methods: We studied patients with moderate to severe freezing of gait who underwent antigravity treadmill training twice a week for 4 consecutive weeks with 50% reduction of body weight.

Results: We enrolled 26 consecutive patients with PD, 19 completed the study. There were 10 males; mean age at evaluation was 72.7 ± 10.1 years. Compared to baseline, patients showed improvement in the Freezing of Gait Questionnaire (p = 0.001); and a mean reduction of 7 s in the Timed Up & Go (TUG) test (p = 0.004). Moderate or significant improvement in gait was reported by 84% of patients.

Conclusions: Antigravity treadmill training improved freezing of gait and mobility in patients with PD.

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