Effects of exercise on balance and function in Parkinson's patients
Epps, Elizabeth J.
AdvisorRogers, Michael E.
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INTRODUCTION: Parkinson's disease (PD) is a disturbance of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain. Dopamine aids the muscle in normalization of sequential muscle movements, muscle tone, and automatic learned movements; balance is a combination of visual, vestibular and mechanoreceptors that factor into body position while standing. This study evaluated the effects of exercise on postural balance and strength in people diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. METHOD: Seven PD patients (5 male; 2 female) aged 55-76 participated in an exercise program consisting of progressive strength and balance training 3 days per week for 12 weeks. Balance was measured using the Biodex Balance System. Functional strength, endurance and flexibility were measured utilizing a battery of tests, including arm curls, chair stand, up and go, 6-minute walk, back scratch, and sit-and-reach. RESULTS: Pre to post comparisons found no significant difference in arm curl (P= .071), chair rise (P =.586), up and go (P= .906), 6-minute walk (P= .619), back scratch (P=.257), or sit and reach (P= .604). The Biodex Balance test showed no significant difference in anterior/posterior sway (P= .456), medial/lateral sway (P= .248), or stability index (P= 0.82). CONCLUSION: There was no difference after 12 weeks of postural balance and progressive strength training classes. Future testing should involve a longer training period, a greater number of participants, and a control group.
Thesis (M.Ed)--Wichita State University, College of Education, Dept. of Human Performance Studies