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Indexed/Abstracted in: CINAHL, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 2,063
Online ISSN 1973-9095
Viliani T., Pasquetti P.
Recovery and Functional Rehabilitation Unit, Azienda USL n. 4, Prato, Italy
The management of Parkinson’s disease necessitates a multidisciplinary, global approach, including pharmacological and non pharmacological treatment. Physical therapy aimed at limiting disability and enhancing functional capacities has an important role in the rehabilitation of patients with PD. In the present literature review, the authors discuss the pathogenesis of disability in parkinsonian patients, and examine the most recent findings on bradikynesia and gait disturbances. Numerous variables contribute to the kind of disability seen in PD patients. It is particularly important to explore the relationship between capacity and functional status in order to plan appropriate programmes of physical therapy. Gait, balance and manual ability seem to be the critical factors in maintaining independent living. In their analysis of the published rehabilitation research data, the authors discuss the modalities, results and effectiveness of physical therapy. They outline its positive effects on gait, bradikynesia, rigidity and transfers, and suggest guidelines for formulating the rehabilitation programme. Attention is drawn to the lack of systematic studies on the specificity and role of motor training, and to several issues that remain to be fully understood. The most important of these is whether physical therapy can counteract the negative evolution of the disease toward disability.