Lippincott Williams and Wilkins
Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science
School of Medical Sciences
Strength training has, in recent years, been shown to be beneficial for people with Parkinson disease and multiple sclerosis. Consensus regarding its utility for these disorders nevertheless remains contentious among healthcare professionals. Greater clarity is required, especially in regards to the type and magnitude of effects as well as the response differences to strength training between individuals with Parkinson disease or multiple sclerosis. This study examines the effects, magnitude of those effects, and response differences to strength training between patients with Parkinson disease or multiple sclerosis. A comprehensive search of electronic databases including Physiotherapy Evidence Database scale, PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and CINAHL was conducted from inception to July 2014. English articles investigating the effect of strength training for individuals with neurodegenerative disorders were selected. Strength training trials that met the inclusion criteria were found for individuals with Parkinson disease or multiple sclerosis. Individuals with Parkinson diseaseormultiple sclerosis were included in the study. Strength training interventions included traditional (free weights/machine exercises) and nontraditional programs (eccentric cycling). Included articles were critically appraised using the Physiotherapy Evidence Database scale. Of the 507 articles retrieved, only 20 articles met the inclusion criteria. Of these, 14 were randomized and 6 were nonrandomized controlled articles in Parkinson disease or multiple sclerosis. Six randomized and 2 nonrandomized controlled articles originated from 3 trials and were subsequently pooled for systematic analysis. Strength training was found to significantly improve muscle strength in people with Parkinson disease (15%-83.2%) and multiple sclerosis (4.5%-36%). Significant improvements in mobility (11.4%) and disease progression were also reported in people with Parkinson disease after strength training. Furthermore, significant improvements in fatigue (8.2%), functional capacity (21.5%), quality of life (8.3%), power (17.6%), and electro-myography activity (24.4%) were found in individuals with multiple sclerosis after strength training. The limitations of the study were the heterogeneity of interventions and study outcomes in Parkinson disease and multiple sclerosis trials. Strength training is useful for increasing muscle strength in Parkinson disease and to a lesser extent multiple sclerosis.
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