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The Therapeutic Effect of Nordic Walking on Freezing of Gait in Parkinson's Disease: A Pilot Study


The Therapeutic Effect of Nordic Walking on Freezing of Gait in Parkinson's Disease: A Pilot Study



Parkinson's Disease 2019: 3846279



ISSN/ISBN: 2090-8083

PMID: 32089815

DOI: 10.1155/2019/3846279

Introduction. The effectiveness of the currently utilized therapies for FoG is limited. Several studies demonstrated a beneficial impact of Nordic walking (NW) on several gait parameters in Parkinson's disease, but only one paper reported reduction of freezing. Research Question. In the present study, the question is whether NW is an effective therapeutic intervention in FoG. Twenty PD subjects trained NW for 12 weeks, with a frequency of twice per week. Each session lasted about 60 minutes. Twenty patients in the control group did not use any form of physiotherapy (no-intervention group). Freezing of Gait Questionnaire (FOGQ), the Timed Up and Go (TUG) test, and the Provocative Test for Freezing and Motor Blocks (PTFMB) were performed at baseline, immediately after the end of NW program, and three months later. The results of FOGQ, TUG, and total PTFMB revealed significant improvement after completing the exercise program, and this effect persisted at follow-up. The results of the PTFMB subtests showed a different effect of NW on particular subtypes of FoG. Start hesitation, sudden transient blocks that interrupt gait, and blocks on turning improved considerably, while motor blocks, when walking through narrow space and on reaching the target, did not respond to NW training. Significance. The results show, for the first time, that FoG during turning and step initiation, two most common forms of this gait disorder, has been significantly reduced by NW training. Different responses of particular subtypes of FoG to NW probably reflect their different pathophysiologies. The present study showed that NW training had a beneficial effect on FOG in PD and that the achieved improvement is long-lasting. Future research should clarify whether the observed improvement limited to FoG triggered by only some circumstances reflects different pathomechanisms of FoG subtypes.

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