Wells, MR.; Mc Carty, CL.; Smutny III, C.J.; Scandalis, TA.; Dittrich, F.; Fazzini, EA.; Fazzini, DO.  JAOA  2000 Aug; 100(8): 521

ABSTRACT: Osteopathic manipulation has been shown to acutely improve the gait function of patients with Parkinson disease. It is not clear if the acute effects of treatment will be improved or maintained with continued treatment.

Hypothesis: Treatment with osteopathic manipulation will produce functional improvements in the gait patients with Parkinson’s disease if applied over a period of two months. The improvements resulting treatment will slowly extinguish if treatment is discontinued.

Methods:Patients with a prior diagnosis of idiopathic Parkinson’s disease (n=15)and capable of ambulating unassisted off medication (Modified Hoehn andYahr stage II-III) and normal controls received an 8 week course of a defined osteopathic manipulation treatment regimen or a sham treatment. Quantitative gait parameters were monitored using a Peak Performance Technologies 3-dimensional gait analysis system at time periods before the start of treatment, at the end of treatment and 8 weeks after treatment was discontinued.

Results: Preliminary results indicate that gait parameters including velocity,range of motion of joints and angular velocity improved in treated Parkinson’s patients and to some extent in treated normal controls, but not in sham treated Parkinson’s patients. The beneficial effects of treatment had diminished, but were still detectable at two months after treatment. Conclusion:Preliminary results suggest a clear functional benefit of osteopathic manipulation in Parkinson’s patients treated over an 8 week period. Some beneficial effects of treatment appear to persist even after treatment is discontinued.

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