New study results: Training with the movement therapy device MOTOmed viva2 Parkinson improves gait velocity in Parkinson’s patients

Active assistive forced exercise provides long-term improvement to gait velocity and stride length in patients bilaterally affected by Parkinson’s disease. New research results document this, which were gathered by Univ.-Prof. Dr. Ingo Froböse, head of the Institute for Rehabilitation / German Sport University Cologne.

The population’s demographic aging will lead to a rapid increase of e.g. Parkinson’s related symptoms. As of 2040 and according to the World Health Organization (WHO), neuro-degenerative diseases will overtake carcinosis as second most frequent cause of death right after cardiovascular diseases. As a matter of fact, a specific treatment of these symptoms (e.g.slowed down movement, muscle stiffness, imbalances and tremor) is required.

The forced exercise training with RECK’s movement therapy trainer MOTOmed viva2 Parkinson provides a good method to influence the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease in a positive way and helps to improve gait and well-being of the patients. The users showed increased speed results of up to 30% during motor-assisted training and very good performance with pedal rotations of up to 90rpm. This verifies a study by German Sport University Cologne, in which the effects of active assistive forced exercise with the MOTOmed viva2 Parkinson in comparison to passive training were examined and compared.

Imaging systems suggest that neuronal activation in different brain sections is stronger during active assistive forced exercise training than during passive training. However, scientists do not know about the long-time effect of such an intervention.

In the randomized controlled study, 24 patients showing bilateral effects of Parkinson’s disease underwent a 12-week intervention of either passive or active assistive forced exercise. The 12 patients belonging to the control group also underwent a 12-week intervention afterwards. This way, the examined case number added up to 36 persons. In international comparison to other physiotherapeutic studies and with respect to external evidence, this represents a big sample.

MOTOmed movement training was integrated into the normal therapy program and into standard medical treatment. Analyzed were tremor scores, gait patterns, and scores on the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale-III from three points in time – before beginning the intervention, upon completion of the intervention, and twelve weeks after completion of the intervention.

Participation in both passive and active assistive forced exercise increased gait velocity (0.5 km/h), swing phase (2 %), monopedal stance phase (2 %), elongated stride length (11 cm) and decreased double stance phase (4 %). Moreover, with participation in active assistive forced exercise, postural and kinetic tremor were reduced and gait velocity and stride length were increased long-term.

Result: Active assistive forced exercise training with MOTOmed viva2 Parkinson offers a sustainable therapy method to improve gait velocity and quality of life in patients bilaterally affected by Parkinson’s.

These study findings were released in the internationally acclaimed journal „Gait & Posture“:
DOI: dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gaitpost.2015.08.001

T. Stuckenschneider, I. Froböse, B. Feodoroff (Institut für Gesundheitsförderung und Klinische Bewegungswissenschaften, Deutsche Sporthochschule Köln)
I. Helmich, A. Raabe-Oetker (Abteilung für Neurologie, Psychosomatische Medizin und Psychiatrie, Institut für Gesundheitsförderung und Klinische Bewegungswissenschaften, Deutsche Sporthochschule Köln)

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