Updated in 11/17/2009 10:37:07 AM      Viewed: 155 times      (Journal Article)
Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation 84 (8): 1109-17 (2003)

The effects of balance training and high-intensity resistance training on persons with idiopathic Parkinson's disease.

Mark A Hirsch , Tonya Toole , Charles G Maitland , Robert A Rider
OBJECTIVE: To assess immediate and near-term effects of 2 exercise training programs for persons with idiopathic Parkinson's disease (IPD). DESIGN: Randomized control trial. SETTING: Public health facility and medical center. PARTICIPANTS: Fifteen persons with IPD. INTERVENTION: Combined group (balance and resistance training) and balance group (balance training only) underwent 10 weeks of high-intensity resistance training (knee extensors and flexors, ankle plantarflexion) and/or balance training under altered visual and somatosensory sensory conditions, 3 times a week on nonconsecutive days. Groups were assessed before, immediately after training, and 4 weeks later. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Balance was assessed by computerized dynamic posturography, which determined the subject's response to reduced or altered visual and somatosensory orientation cues (Sensory Orientation Test [SOT]). Muscle strength was assessed by measuring the amount of weight a participant could lift, by using a standardized weight-and-pulley system, during a 4-repetition-maximum test of knee extension, knee flexion, and ankle plantarflexion. RESULTS: Both types of training improved SOT performance. This effect was larger in the combined group. Both groups could balance longer before falling, and this effect persisted for at least 4 weeks. Muscle strength increased marginally in the balance group and substantially in the combined group, and this effect persisted for at least 4 weeks. CONCLUSION: Muscle strength and balance can be improved in persons with IPD by high-intensity resistance training and balance training.
ISSN: 0003-9993