Effectiveness of the LSVT BIG™ Exercise Protocol on Measures of Balance, Gait, and Cardiovascular Fitness in Two Persons with Parkinson’s Disease



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Case Background and Purpose. Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive neurological pathology which leads to a decrease in functional capabilities. Non-pharmacologic treatment programs do exist which can enable people to function better while living with this disease. The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of the LSVT BIG™ exercise protocol on measures of balance, gait, and cardiovascular fitness in two subjects with PD. Case Description. The case study was an A-B design. Two individuals with PD consented to perform the outcome measures weekly for four weeks followed by four weeks of the LSVT BIG™ treatment protocol plus weekly testing. The outcome measures included Multi-directional Reach Test (MDRT), the GAITRite™ gait analysis system, electromyography (EMG), postural stability and limits of stability tests on Biodex™ Balance SD (BBSD), Functional Gait Assessment (FGA), Brief Balance Evaluation Systems Test (Brief BESTest), Five Times Sit to Stand (FTSTS), Six Minute Walk Test (6MWT), heart rate, blood pressure, and pulse oximetry. Outcome. The two participants demonstrated significant benefits in the outcome measures used. However, the number of changed measures for each subject was not equal, due to differences in PD signs. PD05 was a better candidate as his primary signs were bradykinesia and rigidity. Conclusion. Results of this study suggest LSVT BIG™ protocol may be used by patients with bradykinesia and rigidity as their primary motor signs of PD to help improve aspects of balance and gait. Further research is needed to solidify the results including more selective sample, larger sample size, and monitoring results of outcome measures post intervention period.



Parkinson’s disease, LSVT BIG™, outcome, cardiovascular, fall risks