15-03-2019. Immobility and falls are among the most serious consequences of Parkinson's disease. Especially in the advanced stage of the disease, chronic lack of exercise often leads to increased gait insecurity. This stirs up the fear of falling in those affected, which in turn helps to reduce physical activity. A vicious cycle - which brings with it a great loss of quality of life.
Here could be everyday Gait training with music a powerful remedy. This was the result of a study by Colorado State University (Fort Collins / USA) with 60 Parkinson's sufferers. The study was led by Michael Thaut, one of the world's most renowned rehabilitation and training researchers, who was the first to scientifically investigate music-based gait training in 1996. Half of the patients practiced 5 times a week for 30 minutes with special training music for about 5 months. The other half did the same, but suspended training for 8 weeks in between.
Especially in the first 8 weeks, all patients improved significantly in walking speed, step frequency and step length. In addition, the gait training significantly improved the forefoot lift when walking. According to the authors, this is of paramount importance for gait safety. The patients who temporarily stopped training worsened during this time. In addition to the gait parameters, all patients also significantly reduced their frequency of falls and fear of falling.
In this study, music training proved to be an effective, practicable and inexpensive therapy for Parkinson's patients with walking insecurity.
Thaut MH, Rice RR, Braun Janzen T, Hurt-Thaut CP, McIntosh GC. (2019). Rhythmic auditory stimulation for reduction of falls in Parkinson's disease: a randomized controlled study. Clin Rehabil. 2019 Jan; 33 (1): 34-43. doi: 10.1177 / 0269215518788615. Epub 2018 Jul 23.