International Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

International Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
Open Access

ISSN: 2329-9096

+44 1300 500008


Aerobic Exercise Enabled with Rehabilitation Technology Improves Mobility and Balance of Patients with Parkinson’s Disease: A Quality Assurance Report

Byl N, Byl NN, Kretschmer J, Irina F, Molli B and Maurice G

Background and Purpose: Evidence supports aerobic exercise for positive health and wellness. Unfortunately, physical and mental impairments can limit aerobic exercise potential by elders and those with neurodegenerative disease. Two Quality Assurance (QA) studies evaluated if rehabilitation technology could enable individuals with mild-moderate PD to exercise aerobically to gain mobility and balance skills without injury or exacerbation of self reported PD signs and symptoms. Methods: Participants volunteered to train aerobically on two body weight supported treadmill systems (AlterGR and GlideTrakTM) (QA I) and/or a recumbent elliptical trainer (NuStep TR5x) with compression and cooling (VasperTM) (OA II). Pre and post training, the 10 Meter Walk, Six Minute Walk, Timed Up and Go (TUG) and Five Times Sit to Stand (FTSTS) were administered while signs/symptoms of PD were self reported before, during and after training. Results: Twenty participants (11 and 9 respectively in QA I and II) completed 200-225 minutes of aerobic training achieving 60%-80% of maximum heart rate. Significant (p<0.05) gains were measured in balance and mobility without exacerbation of PD signs/symptoms. Despite reporting fatigue and discomfort during exercise, improvement in energy, resilience and tremors were self reported. Magnitude of gains differed by technology training group. Discussion and Conclusions: Participants recommend rehabilitation technology for home use and community fitness center integration. The comparative QA findings helped clarify screening criteria, indications, contraindications, red flags and operational procedures for improving the integration of 3 types of technology into wellness and rehabilitation programs within a Physical Therapy Health and Wellness Ce