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Parkinson’s Disease
Volume 2013, Article ID 583278, 5 pages
Clinical Study

Short- and Long-Term Efficacy of Intensive Rehabilitation Treatment on Balance and Gait in Parkinsonian Patients: A Preliminary Study with a 1-Year Followup

1Department of Parkinson Disease Rehabilitation, “Moriggia-Pelascini” Hospital, Via Pelascini 3, 22015 Gravedona ed Uniti (CO), Italy
2Fondazione Europea Ricerca Biomedica FERB, “S.Isidoro” Hospital, Via Ospedale 34, 24069 Trescore Balneario, Italy
3Department of Neurorehabilitation, Scientific Institute of Montescano, S. Maugeri Foundation IRCCS, Via per Montescano 31, 27040 Montescano, Italy
4Department of Neurology, Tradate Hospital, Piazzale Zaniboni 1, 21049 Tradate, Italy
5Parkinson Institute, Istituti Clinici di Perfezionamento, Via Bignami 3, 20100 Milano, Italy
6Department of Biomedical Engineering, Scientific Institute of Montescano, S. Maugeri Foundation IRCCS, Via per Montescano 31, 27040 Montescano, Italy

Received 25 January 2013; Revised 26 March 2013; Accepted 5 April 2013

Academic Editor: Terry Ellis

Copyright © 2013 Giuseppe Frazzitta et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disease in which gait and balance disturbances are relevant symptoms that respond poorly to pharmacological treatment. The aim of this study was to investigate whether a 4-week inpatient multidisciplinary intensive rehabilitation treatment (MIRT) is effective in improving balance and gait and whether improvements persist at a one-year followup. We studied 20 PD inpatients (stage 3 Hoehn-Yahr) who underwent a MIRT. Outcome measures were UPDRS items for balance (30), falls (13), and walk (29), Berg Balance Scale, six-minute walking test, Timed Up and Go Test, and Comfortable-Fast gait speeds. Patients were evaluated at admission, at the end of the 4-week treatment, and at a 1-year followup. Pharmacological therapy was unchanged during MIRT and follow-up. All outcome measures improved significantly at the end of treatment. At 1-year follow-up control, UPDRS walk and Comfortable-Fast gait speeds still maintained better values with respect to admission ( , and , resp.), while the remaining scales did not differ significantly. Our results demonstrate that the MIRT was effective in improving balance and gait and that the improvement in gait performances was partially maintained also after 1 year.