Purpose: Do Parkinson's disease patients improve functional mobility more with motor imagery than compared to those that receive therapeutic exercise alone? Background: Along with cuing, motor imagery (MI) has recently gained favor as an adjunct to treat Parkinson's disease patients. It has been shown effective in Stroke patients and healthy subjects. However, it is currently unclear whether MI is beneficial in this population. Case description: A case study was done on a patient with Parkinson's disease and hip fracture. His main impairments dealt with his rigid nature and inability to transfer. The patient was treated with a variety of physical therapy interventions including motor imagery. He responded well to the interventions, including immediately improved mobility with the use of motor imagery. Methods: A search was performed using Pubmed, CINAHL and PEDro. Search terms included Parkinson's disease, motor imagery and mental practice. The field was then systematically narrowed to 8 articles. Each article was then analyzed to help answer the PICO question. Outcomes: There is conflicting evidence for the usefulness of motor imagery in the treatment of Parkinson's disease. Furthermore, only a small number of articles investigate the use of MI along with physical therapy to improve patient outcomes. Many investigate the ability to perform MI and from there infer its potential usefulness. Discussion: The current research often has conflicting results. The research tends to support that Parkinson's disease patients have the ability to produce MI. The conflict comes when introducing it into physical therapy. The two RCT's that directly investigated its use gave conflicting results, but the methods seem to hold a key on the results. Incorporating motor imagery into the daily routine prior to movement appears to hold the best potential for improvement. Further research is needed to investigate these claims.
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Motor Imagery, Guided imagery, Parkinson's Disease
Loveless, Jason. "The Use Of Motor Imagery In A Stage 4 Hoehn and Yahr Parkinson's Disease Patient." (2014). http://digitalrepository.unm.edu/dpt/92