Making the Case for Continuous Physical Rehabilitation for Parkinson’s Disease Patients

In a controlled clinical trial conducted by Comelia L. Cynthia  , MD, Glenn T. Stebbins, PhD, Nancy Brown-Toms, BA and 
 Christopher G. Goetz, MD of the Department of  Neurological Sciences, Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center, Chicago, IL. an evaluation was made of the effects of physical disability in moderately advanced Parkinson’s  patients following 4 weeks of normal physical activity and 4 weeks of a more intensive physical rehabilitation program. They used a timed motor task and a standard assessment of PD severity (the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale [UPDRS] with subscales for mentation, activities of daily living [ADL], and motor function. The test was conducted by  an investigator who did not know about the  physical rehabilitation status of the patient.
Following physical rehabilitation, there was significant improvement in the UPDRS ADL and motor scores, but no change in mentation score. During the 6 months following physical rehabilitation, patients did not regularly exercise, and the UPDRS scores returned to their baseline. The conclusion the researchers reached was  that physical disability in moderately advanced PD improves with a regular physical rehabilitation program, but the improvement is not sustained when normal activity is resumed.
Parkinson’s disease patients have a physical therapy solution that has shown to be very effective in restoring movement ability to disabled limbs due to the disease. The HANDTUTOR, ARMTUTOR, LEGTUTOR and 3 DTUTOR are physical therapy products that are currently being utilized in leading U.S. and European hospitals and rehabilitation clinics. The TUTORs are gloves and braces that are strategically placed on affected hands, arms, elbows, legs and other joints. The sensors in these devices pick up the patient’s movements through dedicated software. Physical therapists monitor, evaluate and design these movements into a customized program for that specific patient.
Fully certified by the FDA and CE the cost effective TUTORs are available for children as young as 5 and in the patient’s home through the use of telerehabilitation. See WWW.MEDITOUCH.CO.IL for further information.
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