Parkinson’s Disease

A study by Hirsch demonstrated that balance training used in combination with high intensity resistance training can significantly improve muscle strength and balance in persons with idiopathic Parkinson disease. A combined group (balance and resistance training) and a balance group (balance training only) underwent 10 weeks of high-intensity resistance training (knee extensors and flexors, ankle plantarflexion) and /or balance training 3 times a week.  The groups were assessed before, immediately after training, and 4 weeks by computerised dynamic posturography. Muscle strength was assessed by measuring the amount of weight a participant could lift, by using a standardized weight and pully system. Both types of training improved sensory orientation, however the effect was larger in the combined group. Both groups could balance longer before falling, and this effect persisted for at least 4 weeks. Muscle strength increased marginally in the balance group and substantially in the combined group, and this effect persisted for at least 4 weeks.

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