1. Controlled pilot study of the effects of neuromuscular therapy in patients with Parkinson's disease.

Craig LH, Svircev A, Haber M, Juncos JL.




Atlanta School of Massage, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.


The objectives of this study is to examine the effects of neuromuscular therapy (NMT) on motor and nonmotor symptoms in Parkinson's disease (PD). Thirty-six subjects with PD were randomly assigned to NMT or music relaxation (MR, or active control). Subjects received treatment twice a week for 4 weeks. Testing was conducted at baseline, after final treatment, and 8 days after final treatment. Primary outcome measures were the Motor subscale of the United Parkinson Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) and the Clinical Global Impression scale (CGI-Change). Secondary outcome measures included a PD-specific quality of life scale (PDQ-39), quantitative measures of motor function, and severity scales for anxiety and depression symptoms. NMT resulted in a significant and sustained improvement in the Motor subscale of the UPDRS (P < or = 0.0001), most notable in the tremor scores. Also improved 1 week after the last treatment were the CGI scores (P = 0.007) and the finger-tapping speed (P = 0.001). The MR active control group had a slight improvement in tremor but evidenced no other change in motor function. Both groups exhibited a modest improvement in quality of life immediately after the last treatment. This effect was sustained for 8 days only in the MR group. In the nonmotor domains, the MR group evidenced improvements in mood (P = 0.001) and anxiety (P = 0.002), whereas NMT had no effect on mood (P = 0.09), and its initial effect on anxiety (P = 0.0009) dissipated after 8 days (P = 0.40). Group differences for UPDRS motor score and patient CGI-Change were superior in the NMT compared to the MR group. There was no group difference in PDQ-39 scores or in nonmotor measures. The findings suggest that NMT can improve motor and selected nonmotor symptoms in PD and that this effect is more durable for the motor symptoms. The results of this pilot study warrant larger controlled studies to examine dose range, durability, and mechanisms of NMT in PD function.

Copyright 2006 Movement Disorder Society.

PMID: 17044088

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


2. A pilot study of therapeutic massage for people with Parkinson's disease: the added value of user involvement.

Paterson C, Allen JA, Browning M, Barlow G, Ewings P.




MRC Health Services Research Collaboration, Department of Social Medicine, University of Bristol, Canynge Hall, Whiteladies Road, Bristol BS8 2PR, UK. c.paterson@bristol.ac.uk



To carry out a pilot study, with particular attention to adequacy of outcome measures.


Observational study and user participation.


A local user group selected seven participants with a wide range of illness severity.


A course of eight 1hr sessions of deep whole body (therapeutic) massage over 8 weeks.


The Parkinson's Disease Questionnaire (PDQ-39), the Measure Yourself Medical Outcome Profile (MYMOP), and the Medication Change Questionnaire (MCQ). Semi-structured interviews, before and after the intervention.


In addition to enjoying the massage, individuals showed improvement in self-confidence, well-being, walking and activities of daily living. There was good agreement between data from the outcome questionnaires, interviews and clinical notes. User involvement highlighted issues that would otherwise have been ignored.


The study confirms the benefits of involving users in the research process and makes recommendations concerning the design of any future randomised trial.



[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]