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Parkinson’s Disease
Volume 2015, Article ID 520128, 10 pages
Research Article

Balance Dysfunction in Parkinson’s Disease: The Role of Posturography in Developing a Rehabilitation Program

1Department of Parkinson Disease and Brain Injury Rehabilitation, “Moriggia-Pelascini” Hospital, Gravedona ed Uniti, Italy
2Morton and Gloria Shulman Movement Disorders Clinic and the Edmond J. Safra Program in Parkinson’s Disease, Division of Neurology, Toronto Western Hospital, UHN, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
3Department of Biomedical Engineering, Scientific Institute of Montescano, S. Maugeri Foundation, IRCCS, Montescano, Italy
4Department of Physiology, Pharmacology & Neuroscience, CUNY Medical School, New York, NY 10031, USA
5Parkinson Institute, Istituti Clinici di Perfezionamento, Milano, Italy
6Fondazione Europea Ricerca Biomedica (FERB), “S.Isidoro” Hospital, Trescore Balneario, Italy

Received 12 February 2015; Revised 20 April 2015; Accepted 23 April 2015

Academic Editor: Talia Herman

Copyright © 2015 Davide Ferrazzoli 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.


Balance dysfunction (BD) in Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a disabling symptom, difficult to treat and predisposing to falls. The dopaminergic drugs or deep brain stimulation does not always provide significant improvements of BD and rehabilitative approaches have also failed to restore this condition. In this study, we investigated the suitability of quantitative posturographic indicators to early identify patients that could develop disabling BD. Parkinsonian patients not complaining of a subjective BD and controls were tested using a posturographic platform (PP) with open eyes (OE) and performing a simple cognitive task [counting (OEC)]. We found that patients show higher values of total standard deviation (SD) of body sway and along the medio-lateral (ML) axis during OE condition. Furthermore, total and ML SD of body sway during OE condition and total SD of body sway with OEC were higher than controls also in a subgroup of patients with normal Berg Balance Scale. We conclude that BD in Parkinsonian patients can be discovered before its appearance using a PP and that these data may allow developing specific rehabilitative treatment to prevent or delay their onset.