BACKGROUND: Subjects affected by Parkinson's disease have substantially impaired static and dynamic balance, leading to diminished functional ability. Conventional and innovative exercises have been suggested, but most of them were focused on motor features of posture and gait, deserving poor attention to perceptive aspects of balance. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the efficacy of the perceptive rehabilitation, based on perceptual surfaces, for postural balance (primary aim) and pain, depression and activity daily living. METHODS: In this pilot study, we have treated 9 patients with Parkinson's disease undergone rehabilitation aiming to restoring their correct body midline perception, according a schema treatment-no treatment-treatment. RESULTS: During the rehabilitative intervention, both Tinetti balance score (p = 0.007 in both phases) and Tinetti gait score (p = 0.011 and p = 0.016, respectively), such as pain relief assessed by Visual Analogue Scale (p = 0.011, p = 0.010) were improved. Conversely in the phase of no-intervention, lasting the same amount of time, it was showed a significant reduction of Tinetti Balance score (p = 0.010) and no significant changes in terms of Tinetti Gait score and Visual Analogue Scale. CONCLUSIONS: These preliminary results highlighted the importance of introducing perceptive training into the exercises proposed to patients with Parkinson's disease for reducing both their static and dynamic balance impairments. © 2014-IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved.
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