A High-Intensity Multicomponent Agility Intervention Improves Parkinson Patients’ Clinical and Motor Symptoms



      To determine the effects of a high-intensity exercise therapy using sensorimotor and visual stimuli on nondemented Parkinson disease (PD) patients’ clinical symptoms, mobility, and standing balance.


      Randomized clinical intervention, using a before-after trial design.


      University hospital setting.


      A total of 72 PD patients with Hoehn and Yahr stage of 2-3, of whom 64 were randomized, and 55 completed the study.


      PD patients were randomly assigned to a no physical intervention control (n=20 of 29 completed, 9 withdrew before baseline testing) or to a high-intensity agility program (15 sessions, 3 weeks, n=35 completed).

      Main Outcome Measures

      Primary outcome was the Movement Disorders Society-Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale (MDS-UPDRS) motor experiences of daily living (M-EDL). Secondary outcomes were Beck Depression score, Parkinson Disease Questionnaire-39 (PDQ-39), EuroQoL Five-Dimension (EQ5D) Questionnaire visual analog scale, Schwab and England Activities of Daily Living (SE ADL) Scale, timed Up and Go (TUG) test, and 12 measures of static posturography.


      The agility program improved MDS-UPDRS M-EDL by 38% compared with the 2% change in control (group by time interaction, P=.001). Only the intervention group improved in PDQ-39 (6.6 points), depression (18%), EQ5D visual analog scale score (15%), the SE ADL Scale score (15%), the TUG test (39%), and in 8 of 12 posturography measures by 42%-55% (all P<.001). The levodopa equivalent dosage did not change.


      A high-intensity agility program improved nondemented, stage 2-3 PD patients’ clinical symptoms, mobility, and standing balance by functionally meaningful margins at short-term follow-up.


      List of abbreviations:

      COP (center of pressure), EQ5D (EuroQoL Five-Dimension), HRQoL (health-related quality of life), MCID (minimal clinically important difference), MDS-UPDRS (Movement Disorders Society-Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale), M-EDL (motor experiences of daily living), PD (Parkinson disease), PDQ-39 (Parkinson Disease Questionnaire-39), SE ADL (Schwab and England Activities of Daily Living), TUG (timed Up and Go)
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