Efficacy of neurofunctional versus resistance training in improving gait and quality of life among patients with Parkinson’s disease: a randomized clinical trial

Abstract AIMS to compare the efficacy of neurofunctional training versus resistance training in improving gait and quality of life among patients with PD METHODS This randomized controlled trial included 40 participants randomly assigned to two groups through random number table generator: resistance training (RT) (n=19) and neurofunctional training (NT) (n=21). The RT group performed resistance exercises emphasizing the lower limbs and trunk, while the NT group sessions were focused on gait, functional independence and balance training. Trained physical therapists supervised both groups. The training sessions lasted 60 minutes in each group and were performed twice a week, totalizing 24 sessions. The outcomes, gait and quality of life, were measured using video gait analysis and footprint analysis; and PDQL and PDQ-39 questionnaires, respectively RESULTS intra-group comparison revealed all gait variables (stride length, step length, number of steps, time of distance walked, gait speed and cadence) improved after the NT intervention with large effect size, while only stride length improved in the RT group with moderate effect size. The between group analyses means (Δ) shows that all the variables presented statistically significant differences in the NT group. Additionally, both groups showed significant improvements in quality of life. CONCLUSIONS The application of specific neurofunctional training, directed and enriched with sensorial resources, resulted in superior gait performance among individuals with PD when compared to those in the resistance training group; both treatments were efficacious in improving quality of life.