Treadmill training can improve gait in Parkinson’s disease

Clinical question: 
How effective is treadmill training in improving the gait function of patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD)?
Bottom line: 
Treadmill training did improve gait speed, stride length and walking distance; cadence did not improve. Acceptability of treadmill training for study participants was good and adverse events were rare.
Caveat: 
This review was based on a limited number of small trials, the largest involving only 54 patients. The results must be interpreted with caution because there were variations between the trials in patient characteristics, the duration and amount of training (from one session of about 30 minutes, to 8 weeks) and types of treatment. Additionally, it is not known how long these improvements may last.
Context: 
The role of treadmill training for people with PD in improving gait parameters is unclear. Gait hypokinesia is typically one of the primary movement disorders associated with PD. It is an important determinant of disability and quality of life for people with mild to moderate PD. Treadmill training uses specialised machines to facilitate gait rehabilitation.
Review CD#: 
CD007830
PEARLS No: 
235
Date: 
March, 2010
Authored by: 
Brian R McAvoy