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Systematic review on strength training in Parkinson’s disease: an unsolved question

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Ileana Ramazzina,1 Benedetta Bernazzoli,2 and Cosimo Costantino1


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of strength training, performed against a different resistance from body weight, in improving motor and nonmotor symptoms in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD). The following electronic databases were searched: PubMed, Physiotherapy Evidence Database, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Scopus, and Web of Science. The review was conducted and reported in accordance with the PRISMA statement. Thirteen high-quality randomized controlled trials were included. Strength training performed against external resistance is well tolerated and appears to be a suitable physical activity to improve both physical parameters and quality of life parameters of PD subjects. However, although the study intervention included strength training, only a few selected studies assessed the improvement of muscle strength. Despite the encouraging results, it is difficult to establish a correlation between strength training and the improvements made. Our review highlights the lack of common intent in terms of study design and the presence of different primary and secondary outcomes. Accordingly, further studies are needed to support the beneficial effects of different types of strength training in PD subjects and to underline the superiority of strength training in PD patients with respect to other training.

Resource: Clin Interv Aging. 2017; 12: 619–628.