Combined Physiotherapy and Deep Brain Stimulation to Improve Independent Community Mobility in Parkinson's Disease

Status: Recruiting
Location: See location...
Intervention Type: Other
Study Type: Interventional
Study Phase: Not Applicable

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is the most commonly performed surgical treatment for individuals with Parkinson's disease (PD). DBS typically works best to lessen motor symptoms such as stiffness, slowness, and tremor. Despite an overall improvement of these motor symptoms with DBS, past research failed to show an increase in community mobility and have often reported an increase in falling after surgery. The ability to move around on one's own is important for functional independence and improved quality of life. There is growing evidence supporting the positive effects of physiotherapy on individuals with PD. Gait and balance training, in particular, can improve mobility and also prevent falls. So far, no study has shown the effectiveness of rehabilitation in patients receiving DBS. The purpose of this study is to determine if DBS combined with physiotherapy is effective for improving safe independent mobility in individuals with PD, more so than with patients receiving DBS alone.

Participation Requirements
Sex: All
Minimum Age: 18
Healthy Volunteers: No

• PD patients who have been identified as candidates for DBS.

• Ability to give informed consent.

• Patients ages 18 years and older.

Other Locations
Movement Disorders Centre - Toronto Western Hospital
Contact Information
Alfonso Fasano, MD, PhD
(416) 603-5800
Sumi Rajalingam, MD, Hon. BSc
(416) 603-5800
Time Frame
Start Date: April 15, 2021
Estimated Completion Date: October 31, 2023
Target number of participants: 60
Experimental: Physiotherapy group
Participants assigned to the physiotherapy group will receive physiotherapy treatment at One Step Ahead Mobility physiotherapy clinic for 1-hour per day, 3 times/week for 8 weeks. They will begin to receive the physiotherapy treatment at 4 months following their surgery and once their DBS settings are optimized.
No Intervention: Control group
Participants assigned to the control group will not receive any additional intervention and will be precluded from starting formal physiotherapy for the duration of the study. However, they will be encouraged to keep an active lifestyle. In order to stay active, they will be recommended to do simple home exercises following a home exercise video that will be presented to them. They will be asked to do it 3 times/week for 8 weeks and keep an exercise log to help them stay on track.
Leads: University of Toronto

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