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An Analysis of Functional Outcome Measures After Treadmill Training in Older Adults With Parkinson’s Disease

B. Rhett Rigby, Ronald W. Davis, Marco A. Avalos, Leah S. Goudy, Kevin A. Becker, David L. Nichols


Changes in functional outcome measures were compared before and after four weeks of training each on a land, aquatic, and anti-gravity treadmill. Ten elderly adults, ages 64 to 80 years, with Parkinson’s disease exercised for four weeks, twice per week, on each treadmill. Functional measures of balance and gait using the Tinetti Performance-Oriented Mobility Assessment, postural sway using the Limits of Stability Test, and fine motor performance using the Purdue Pegboard Test were assessed. Gait scores on the Performance Oriented Mobility Assessment were significantly increased after the land treadmill exercise intervention versus scores immediately pre-intervention (11.7 ± 1.5 vs. 9.2 ± 3.1, respectively; p = .028). All other functional measures, including balance, postural sway, and fine motor performance, were not different across time points. Aerobic exercise training on various treadmills had little effect on functional measures in adults with Parkinson’s disease. 

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Balance in the elderly; Parkinson’s disease; stability; treadmill training

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