The Efficacy of LSVT BIG on Parkinson's Disease: A Pilot Study
Objectives: Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a debilitating, neurodegenerative disorder with many different intervention techniques. The investigators sought to test the LSVT BIG treatment on local participants who have PD using multiple clinical and instrumented outcome measures to determine efficacy of the intervention. The investigators also sought to provide evidence showing the accuracy of using clinical measures compared to “gold standard” instrumented measures. Finally, the investigators were interested in determining if there was a change at the muscular level after completing the LSVT BIG intervention. Methods: Balance measures included Five Times Sit to Stand (FTSTS), Brief BESTest, Multi-Directional Reach Test (MDRT), and Postural Stability on the Biodex Balance SD (BBSD). Gait measures included Six Minute Walk Test (6MWT), Functional Gait Assessment (FGA), gait velocity, relative and absolute anticipatory response time, EMG force generated, double limb stance, single limb stance, and integrated EMG. This pilot study of two participants showed little conclusive evidence that LSVT BIG is an effective treatment for PD; however, significant benefits were shown in the Functional Gait Assessment and Brief-BESTest, demonstrating improvements in gait, balance, and fall risk. Unfortunately, multiple limitations diminished the ability to make firm conclusions in this study. Future research opportunities include gathering a larger sample size for better participant selection as well as studying the effects of LSVT BIG on other neurodegenerative disorders, studying whether BIG treatment is most effective during “on” or “off” stages of medication, and utilizing upper extremity outcome measures.