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Rehabilitation Research and Practice
Volume 2018, Article ID 7172686, 8 pages
Research Article

Partial Body Weight-Supported Treadmill Training in Spinocerebellar Ataxia

1Post-Graduation Program in Rehabilitation Sciences, Augusto Motta University Center (UNISUAM), Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
2School of Physiotherapy, Federal Institute of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
3Institute of Neurology Deolindo Couto, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
4Physical Education College of the Brazilian Army (EsEFEx), Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
5D’Or Institute for Research and Education (IDOR), Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil

Correspondence should be addressed to Laura Alice Santos de Oliveira; moc.liamg@tf.arieviloarual

Received 24 August 2017; Revised 17 November 2017; Accepted 12 December 2017; Published 8 January 2018

Academic Editor: Velio Macellari

Copyright © 2018 Laura Alice Santos de Oliveira 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.


Background and Purpose. The motor impairments related to gait and balance have a huge impact on the life of individuals with spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA). Here, the aim was to assess the possibility of retraining gait, improving cardiopulmonary capacity, and challenging balance during gait in SCA using a partial body weight support (BWS) and a treadmill. Also, the effects of this training over functionality and quality of life were investigated. Methods. Eight SCA patients were engaged in the first stage of the study that focused on gait training and cardiovascular conditioning. From those, five took part in a second stage of the study centered on dynamic balance training during gait. The first and second stages lasted 8 and 10 weeks, respectively, both comprising sessions of 50 min (2 times per week). Results. The results showed that gait training using partial BWS significantly increased gait performance, treadmill inclination, duration of exercise, and cardiopulmonary capacity in individuals with SCA. After the second stage, balance improvements were also found. Conclusion. Combining gait training and challenging tasks to the postural control system in SCA individuals is viable, well tolerated by patients with SCA, and resulted in changes in capacity for walking and balance.