Automated Mechanical Peripheral Stimulation Improves Gait Parameters in Subjects With Parkinson Disease and Freezing of Gait: A Randomized Clinical Trial

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ObjectiveThis study aimed to assess spatiotemporal gait parameters and range of motion of lower limbs in subjects with Parkinson disease (PD) and freezing of gait, treated with automated mechanical peripheral stimulation (AMPS) or AMPS SHAM (placebo).DesignThis randomized clinical trial included 30 subjects allocated into two groups: AMPS (15 subjects with PD) and AMPS SHAM (15 subjects with PD). Fourteen age-matched healthy subjects were also included as a reference group. Both PD groups received the treatment twice a week during 4 weeks. Automated mechanical peripheral stimulation was applied using a commercial medical device (Gondola) and consisted of mechanical pressure in four areas of feet. For AMPS SHAM group, a subliminal stimulus was delivered. Gait analysis were measured before, after the first, after the fourth, and after the eighth sessions.ResultsWe did not find significant differences between AMPS and AMPS SHAM groups either for spatiotemporal gait parameters or for range of motion of lower limbs. However, within-group analysis showed that AMPS group significantly improved spatiotemporal gait parameters and hip rotation range of motion throughout the treatment period. The AMPS SHAM group did not show any improvement.ConclusionsAutomated mechanical peripheral stimulation therapy induces improvements in spatiotemporal parameters and hip rotation range of motion of subjects with PD and freezing of gait.To Claim CME CreditsComplete the self-assessment activity and evaluation online at ObjectivesUpon completion of this article, the reader should be able to: (1) Understand the impact of reduced plantar sensitivity on gait in individuals with Parkinson disease; (2) Identify the improvements on spatiotemporal gait parameters in subjects with Parkinson disease and freezing of gait after automated mechanical peripheral stimulation therapy; and (3) Recommend the use of new strategies of plantar stimulus for gait disorders of subjects with Parkinson disease.LevelAdvancedAccreditationThe Association of Academic Physiatrists is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.The Association of Academic Physiatrists designates this Journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 0.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

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