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Automated Mechanical Peripheral Stimulation Effects on Gait Variability in Individuals With Parkinson Disease and Freezing of Gait: A Double-Blind, Randomized Controlled Trial

      Abstract

      Objective

      To assess the effects of automated peripheral stimulation (AMPS) in reducing gait variability of subjects with Parkinson disease (PD) and freezing of gait (FOG) treated with AMPS and to explore the effects of this treatment on gait during a single task (walking) and a dual task (walking while attending the word-color Stroop test).

      Design

      Interventional, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, randomized trial.

      Setting

      Clinical rehabilitation.

      Participants

      Thirty subjects were randomized into 2 groups: AMPS (n=15) and AMPS sham (n=15).

      Interventions

      Both groups received 2 treatment sessions a week for 4 consecutive weeks (totaling 8 treatment sessions). AMPS was applied by using a medical device (Gondola™) and consisted in mechanical pressure stimulations delivered by metallic actuators on 4 areas of the feet. Treatment parameters and device configuration were modified for AMPS sham group.

      Main Outcome Measures

      Gait analyses were measured at baseline and after the first, fourth, and eighth treatment sessions.

      Results

      Interactions among groups and sessions were found for both conditions while off anti-Parkinsonian medications. AMPS decreased gait variability in subjects with PD and FOG for both single and dual task conditions.

      Conclusions

      AMPS is an effective add-on therapy for treating gait variability in patients with PD and FOG.

      Keywords

      List of abbreviations:

      AMPS (automated peripheral stimulation), FOG (freezing of gait), FOG-Q (Freezing of Gait Questionnaire), H&Y (Hoehn & Yahr Scale), MMSE (Mini Mental State Examination), PD (Parkinson disease)
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