NYMC Faculty Publications

The Role of Muscle Strength in the Sit-to-Stand Task in Parkinson's Disease

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Parkinson's Disease

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BACKGROUND: Rising from a chair or the sit-to-stand (STS) task is frequently impaired in individuals with Parkinson's disease (PD). These patients commonly attribute such difficulties to weakness in the lower extremities. However, the role of muscle strength in the STS transfer task has not been fully elucidated. OBJECTIVE: We aim at determining the role of muscle strength in the STS task. METHODS: We studied 90 consecutive patients with PD and 52 sex- and age-matched controls. Lower limb strength was determined in both legs by clinical examination using the Medical Research Council Scale, dynamometric (leg flexion) and weighting machine (leg pressure) measures. Patients were interrogated regarding the presence of subjective lower limb weakness or allied sensations. RESULTS: There were 20 patients (22.2%) with abnormal STS task (item 3.9 of the MDS-UPDRS-III ≥2 points). These patients had higher modified Hoehn and Yahr stage (  <  0.001) and higher total motor scores of the MDS-UPDRS(  <  0.001), compared with 70 PD patients with normal STS task. Patients with abnormal STS task endorsed lower limb weakness more frequently and had lower muscle strength in the proximal lower extremities, compared to PD patients with normal STS task and normal controls. The presence of perceived lower limb weakness increased the risk of an abnormal STS task, OR: 11.93 (95% C.I. 1.51-94.32), whereas a hip extension strength ≤9 kg/pressure also increased the risk of abnormal STS task, OR: 4.45 (95% C.I. 1.49-13.23). In the multivariate regression analysis, bradykinesia and decreased hip strength were related to abnormal STS task. CONCLUSIONS: Patients with PD and abnormal STS task complain more commonly of lower limb weakness and have decreased proximal lower limb strength compared to patients with PD and normal STS task, likely contributing to abnormalities in performing the STS task.