Background: Persons with Parkinson disease (PD) exhibit decreased muscular fitness including decreased muscle mass, muscle strength, bioenergetic capabilities and increased fatigability.
Objective: This purpose of this investigation was to evaluate the therapeutic effects of resistance training with and without creatine supplementation in patients with mild to moderate PD.
Methods: Twenty patients with idiopathic PD were randomized to receive creatine monohydrate supplementation plus resistance training (CRE) or placebo (lactose monohydrate) plus resistance training (PLA), using a double-blind procedure. Creatine and placebo supplementation consisted of 20 g/d for the first 5 days and 5 g/d thereafter. Both groups participated in progressive resistance training (24 sessions, 2 times per week, 1 set of 8-12 repetitions, 9 exercises). Participants performed 1-repetition maximum (1-RM) for chest press, leg extension, and biceps curl. Muscular endurance was evaluated for chest press and leg extension as the number of repetitions to failure using 60% of baseline 1-RM. Functional performance was evaluated as the time to perform 3 consecutive chair rises.
Results: Statistical analyses (ANOVA) revealed significant Group x Time interactions for chest press strength and biceps curl strength, and post hoc testing revealed that the improvement was significantly greater for CRE. Chair rise performance significantly improved only for CRE (12%, P=.03). Both PLA and CRE significantly improved 1-RM for leg extension (PLA: 16%; CRE: 18%). Muscular endurance improved significantly for both groups.
Conclusions: These findings demonstrate that creatine supplementation can enhance the benefits of resistance training in patients with PD.