OBJECTIVE: To evaluate and compare the effect of 3 intensive exercise therapy modalities - Resistance Training (RT), Endurance Training (ET) and Other Intensive Training Modalities (OITM) - in Parkinson's Disease (PD). Design A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.
METHODS: A systematic literature search was conducted (Embase, Pubmed, Cinahl, SPORTDiscus, Cochrane, PEDro), which identified 15 studies that were categorized as RT, ET or OITM. The different exercise modalities were reviewed and a meta-analysis evaluating the effect of RT on muscle strength was made.
RESULTS: In PD intensive exercise therapy (RT, ET and OITM) is feasible and safe. There is strong evidence that RT can improve muscle strength in PD, which is underlined by the meta-analysis (g'=0.54 [95%CI 0.22;0.86]). There is moderate evidence that ET can improve cardio-respiratory fitness in PD. RT, ET and OITM may have beneficial effects on balance, walking performance, Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale-III (UPDRS-III) score and quality of life in PD, but findings are inconsistent. No studies find deterioration in any outcomes following exercise therapy.
CONCLUSION: RT, ET and OITM all represent feasible, safe and beneficial adjunct rehabilitation therapies in PD.