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, 2018, 7172686

Partial Body Weight-Supported Treadmill Training in Spinocerebellar Ataxia


Partial Body Weight-Supported Treadmill Training in Spinocerebellar Ataxia

Laura Alice Santos de Oliveira et al. Rehabil Res Pract.


Background and purpose: The motor impairments related to gait and balance have a huge impact on the life of individuals with spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA). Here, the aim was to assess the possibility of retraining gait, improving cardiopulmonary capacity, and challenging balance during gait in SCA using a partial body weight support (BWS) and a treadmill. Also, the effects of this training over functionality and quality of life were investigated.

Methods: Eight SCA patients were engaged in the first stage of the study that focused on gait training and cardiovascular conditioning. From those, five took part in a second stage of the study centered on dynamic balance training during gait. The first and second stages lasted 8 and 10 weeks, respectively, both comprising sessions of 50 min (2 times per week).

Results: The results showed that gait training using partial BWS significantly increased gait performance, treadmill inclination, duration of exercise, and cardiopulmonary capacity in individuals with SCA. After the second stage, balance improvements were also found.

Conclusion: Combining gait training and challenging tasks to the postural control system in SCA individuals is viable, well tolerated by patients with SCA, and resulted in changes in capacity for walking and balance.


Figure 1
Figure 1
The experimental protocol.
Figure 2
Figure 2
VO2 Peak values for each participant before and after the gait/conditioning stage.

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