STATES CHRONICLE – Parkinson’s disease is undoubtedly one of the most horrible diseases a person can suffer from. Slowly becoming unable to use your body while you shake more and more doesn’t sound like anything enjoyable. As the British are preparing to invest more money into Parkinson’s treatments, a new study reveals that physical therapy might not really benefit Parkinson’s patients.
With over 7 million people suffering from the awful affliction around the world, it’s no surprise that more money is going into research for the treatment or prevention of the disease.
As England’s NHS (National Health Service) is going to allocate a lot of funds to Parkinson’s treatment, a team of researchers from the University of Birmingham decided to figure out whether the money was going into effective treatments.
For the study, the researchers had a sample of 762 random patients suffering from mild to moderate Parkinson’s. Half of them were enrolled in occupational therapy and physiotherapy, while the others weren’t.
By employing the Nottingham Extended Activities of Daily Living Scale and Parkinson Disease Questionnaire in order to more precisely compile their results, the team concluded that little to no medium term improvements were seen by the patients practicing the two therapies.
Despite this fact, physical therapy should still be recommended in some cases to Parkinson’s patients, from case to case.
While patient-centered, low-dose, and goal-directed occupational and physical therapy may not help early stage Parkinson’s sufferers, other types of therapy might help other types of patients.
Some Parkinson’s symptoms, like fall risks, imbalance, gait freezing, and even immobilized limbs can actually benefit from certain types of symptom oriented therapy.
Also, according to the Mayo Clinic’s Dr. Eric Ahlskog, which had an editorial published alongside the research, there is one more form of physical therapy from which Parkinson’s patients may benefit – on-going aerobic exercise.
According to him, not only is it useful in treating some of the symptoms and alleviating pains, but it also helps in slowing down the disease’s progression.
The conclusion of the study would be that despite the proven ineffectiveness of patient-centered, low-dose, and goal-directed occupational and physical therapy, other types of physical therapy centered on each patient and symptom individual may actually be of some help in alleviating symptoms or even slowing down the disease’s progress.
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