Psychological Benefits of Nonpharmacological Methods Aimed for Improving Balance in Parkinson's Disease: A Systematic Review

Behav Neurol. 2015;2015:620674. doi: 10.1155/2015/620674. Epub 2015 Jul 7.

Abstract

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a serious condition with a major negative impact on patient's physical and mental health. Postural instability is one of the cardinal difficulties reported by patients to deal with. Neuroanatomical, animal, and clinical studies on nonparkinsonian and parkinsonian subjects suggest an important correlation between the presence of balance dysfunction and multiple mood disorders, such as anxiety, depression, and apathy. Considering that balance dysfunction is a very common symptom in PD, we can presume that by its management we could positively influence patient's state of mind too. This review is an analysis of nonpharmacological methods shown to be effective and successful for improving balance in patients suffering from PD. Strategies such as general exercise, robotic assisted training, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, Yoga, dance (such as tango or ballet), box, virtual reality-based, or neurofeedback-based techniques and so forth can significantly improve the stability in these patients. Beside this physical outcome, many methods have also shown effect on quality of life, depression level, enjoyment, and motivation to continue in practicing the method independently. The purpose of this review is to provide information about practical and creative methods designed to improve balance in PD and highlight their positive impact on patient's psychology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anxiety / psychology*
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Exercise / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Parkinson Disease / physiopathology
  • Parkinson Disease / psychology*
  • Parkinson Disease / therapy
  • Quality of Life*
  • Tai Ji*