Background: Striatal foot deformity can shorten the stance phase of gait and impair the ability to stand and walk. Botulinum neurotoxin type A (BoNT A) is a treatment option. However, no previous study has included clinical balance testing in the evaluation of treatment effects. The aim of this study was to evaluate gait and balance in patients with striatal foot deformities and Parkinson's disease (PD) before and after treatment with BoNT A injections.
Method: The study included 10 patients with PD and striatal foot deformity who visited a neurological clinic. The mean ± standard deviation age and PD-duration was 62.8 ± 8.8 years and 4.9 ± 3.6 years, respectively. Clinical assessment was made before and 4 and 16 weeks after injection and included 5 clinical gait and balance tests. The intensity of distress due to deformities was investigated with a visual analogue scale. Parkinsonian motor status was assessed with the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale part III (motor part). Based on ordinary clinical examination, electromyography-guided BoNT A injection was given in affected muscles. Clinically effective doses of BoNT A were used.
Results: Improvements were observed regarding functional, dynamic, and standing balance as well as intensity of distress at 4 weeks but not at 16 weeks compared with baseline.
Conclusions: BoNT A injection treatment improved gait and balance in patients with PD and striatal foot deformities. Multicenter trials are needed; and, to achieve increased power, a randomized, double-blind controlled design is needed and should focus on the ability of tests to capture subtle changes in gait and balance.
Keywords: Parkinson's disease; balance; botulinum toxin treatment; gait; striatal foot.
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