Functional capabilities, health, and quality of life in individuals with Parkinson's disease
Zagrodnik, James Allan
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Introduction. Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder of the basal ganglia which affects the motor control of planned and unplanned movements. The impact of this neurodegeneration on function, health, and quality of life is not fully understood. The purposes of this study were to compare individuals with and without early – moderate PD on: 1) cognitive functioning, mood, and quality of life; 2) spatial and temporal aspects of gait while performing several dual-tasking activities; and 3) center of gravity control. Methods. Twenty individuals (mean age = 70.42 ± 7.07) with stage 2 PD were compared to 20 matched non-diseased peers (mean age = 69.53 ± 9.30). Results. Multivariate analysis indicated significant group differences for cognition (Λ = 0.70, F4, 35 = 3.79, p < 0.05, η2partial = 0.62), mood (Λ = 0.39, F7, 32 = 7.53, p < 0.01), and quality of life (Λ = 0.41, F10, 29 = 4.12, p < 0.01), while walking and carrying a tray with cups (Λ = 0.63, F7, 32 = 2.67, p < 0.05, η2partial = 0.37), walking and talking on a cell phone (Λ = 0.65, F7, 32 = 2.47, p < 0.05, η2partial = 0.35), and walking and buttoning a shirt (Λ = 0.62, F7, 32 = 2.77, p < 0.05, η2partial = 0.38), but do not significantly differ from controls on limits of stability (LOS) (Λ = 0.622, F5, 18 = 2.19, p > 0.05). Independent ANOVAs with Bonferroni adjustments on LOS components indicated movement velocity (F1, 22 = 10.95, p < 0.01) was significantly different between groups. Conclusions. The combined results from these studies indicate that individuals with early – moderate Parkinson’s disease have reduced functional status and quality of life but they are still able to perform many tasks successfully. Future research should develop specific intervention strategies that challenge the physical and cognitive capabilities of this population at this stage of the disease which may result in improved mood and quality of life and therefore result in prolonged life.