Audio-Biofeedback training for posture and balance in Patients with Parkinson's disease

Laboratory for Gait and Neurodynamics, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, Tel Aviv, Israel.
Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation (Impact Factor: 2.74). 06/2011; 8(1):35. DOI: 10.1186/1743-0003-8-35
Source: PubMed


Patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) suffer from dysrhythmic and disturbed gait, impaired balance, and decreased postural responses. These alterations lead to falls, especially as the disease progresses. Based on the observation that postural control improved in patients with vestibular dysfunction after audio-biofeedback training, we tested the feasibility and effects of this training modality in patients with PD.
Seven patients with PD were included in a pilot study comprised of a six weeks intervention program. The training was individualized to each patient's needs and was delivered using an audio-biofeedback (ABF) system with headphones. The training was focused on improving posture, sit-to-stand abilities, and dynamic balance in various positions. Non-parametric statistics were used to evaluate training effects.
The ABF system was well accepted by all participants with no adverse events reported. Patients declared high satisfaction with the training. A significant improvement of balance, as assessed by the Berg Balance Scale, was observed (improvement of 3% p = 0.032), and a trend in the Timed up and go test (improvement of 11%; p = 0.07) was also seen. In addition, the training appeared to have a positive influence on psychosocial aspects of the disease as assessed by the Parkinson's disease quality of life questionnaire (PDQ-39) and the level of depression as assessed by the Geriatric Depression Scale.
This is, to our knowledge, the first report demonstrating that audio-biofeedback training for patients with PD is feasible and is associated with improvements of balance and several psychosocial aspects.

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Available from: Lorenzo Chiari
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    • "Given this potential interest, many smart devices, addressing a variety of sensory inputs, taken individually or in combination , have been developed to provide biofeedback during postural rehabilitation. Audio feedback is provided in [18] through earphones connected to a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA). In this paper, the postural state analysis is achieved on the PDA using data transmitted by accelerometers and gyroscopes attached to the user's back. "
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    ABSTRACT: Postural control rehabilitation may benefit from the use of smart devices providing biofeedback. This approach consists of increasing the patients perception of their postural state. Namely, postural state is monitored and fed back in real time to the patients through one or more sensory channels. This allows implementing rehabilitation exercises where the patients control their posture with the help of additional sensory inputs. In this paper, a closed loop control of the Center-Of-Pressure (CoP) based on kinesthetic feedback is proposed as a new form of biofeedback. The motion of a one Degree of Freedom (DoF) translational device, lightly touched by the patient’s forefinger, is servoed to the patient’s CoP position extracted from the measurements of a force plate on which he/she stands. As a result, the patient’s CoP can be controllably displaced. A first set of experiments is used to prove the feasibility of this closed-loop control under ideal conditions favoring the perception of the kinesthetic feedback, while the subject is totally unaware of the context. A second set of experiments is then proposed to evaluate the robustness of this approach under experimental conditions that are more realistic with regards to the clinical context of a rehabilitation program involving biofeedback-based exercises.
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    • "While improvements were demonstrated in balance, there were no significant improvements noted in measures of function. The same research group [68] more recently, investigated whether the same biofeedback system could be used to enhance postural control in participants with Parkinson’s disease. While they did observe improvements in both measures of balance and function, similar to the previous report, the results were from a small uncontrolled study with only seven participants. "
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    ABSTRACT: This paper reviews the literature relating to the biofeedback used in physical rehabilitation. The biofeedback methods used in rehabilitation are based on biomechanical measurements and measurements of the physiological systems of the body. The physiological systems of the body which can be measured to provide biofeedback are the neuromuscular system, the respiratory system and the cardiovascular system. Neuromuscular biofeedback methods include electromyography (EMG) biofeedback and real-time ultrasound imaging (RTUS) biofeedback. EMG biofeedback is the most widely investigated method of biofeedback and appears to be an effective in the treatment of many musculoskeletal conditions and in post cardiovascular accident (CVA) rehabilitation. RTUS biofeedback has been demonstrated effective in the treatment of low back pain (LBP) and pelvic floor muscle dysfunction. Cardiovascular biofeedback methods have been shown to be effective in the treatment of a number of health conditions such as hypertension, heart failure, asthma, fibromyalgia and even psychological disorders however a systematic review in this field has yet to be conducted. Similarly, the number of large scale studies examining the use of respiratory biofeedback in rehabilitation is limited. Measurements of movement, postural control and force output can be made using a number of different devices and used to deliver biomechanical biofeedback. Inertial based sensing biofeedback is the most widely researched biomechanical biofeedback method, with a number of studies showing it to be effective in improving measures of balance in a number of populations. Other types of biomechanical biofeedback include force plate systems, electrogoniometry, pressure biofeedback and camera based systems however the evidence for these is limited. Biofeedback is generally delivered using visual displays, acoustic or haptic signals, however more recently virtual reality (VR) or exergaming technology have been used as biofeedback signals. VR and exergaming technology have been primarily investigated in post-CVA rehabilitation, however, more recent work has shown this type of biofeedback to be effective in improving exercise technique in musculoskeletal populations. While a number of studies in this area have been conducted, further large scale studies and reviews investigating different biofeedback applications in different clinical populations are required.
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    • "Balance therefore represents an important pillar for the quality of body motion and for the quality of life. On one hand, impaired balance can be a result of several reasons such as injury [20], disease [5] [15] or aging [30]. On the other hand, growing body of literature shows that balance can be improved through sensorymotor (i.e. "
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