Robot-Assisted Gait Training in Patients With Parkinson Disease: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair,  Clinical Article

Picelli A et al. – Robot–assisted gait training (RAGT) may improve aspects of walking ability in patients with Parkinson disease (PD).

Methods
  • A total of 41 patients with PD were randomly assigned to 45-minute treatment sessions (12 in all), 3 days a week, for 4 consecutive weeks of either robotic stepper training (RST; n = 21) using the Gait Trainer or physiotherapy (PT; n = 20) with active joint mobilization and a modest amount of conventional gait training.
  • Participants were evaluated before, immediately after, and 1 month after treatment.
  • Primary outcomes were 10-m walking speed and distance walked in 6 minutes.

Results
  • Baseline measures revealed no statistical differences between groups, but the PT group walked 0.12 m/s slower; 5 patients withdrew.
  • A statistically significant improvement was found in favor of the RST group (walking speed 1.22 ± 0.19 m/s [P = .035]; distance 366.06 ± 78.54 m [P < .001]) compared with the PT group (0.98 ± 0.32 m/s; 280.11 ± 106.61 m).
  • The RAGT mean speed increased by 0.13 m/s, which is probably not clinically important.
  • Improvements were maintained 1 month later.

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