A new neurological and sociological study has revealed that alternative therapies are not helping patients with Parkinson’s. The study stresses out the fact that patients receiving occupational or physical therapies see no changes in their condition.
Although we are still far from discovering a cure for this debilitating disease, over the years, researchers have focused on creating therapies that could help those who suffer from mild or moderate forms of Parkinson’s disease. These therapies in include the occupational therapy, where a patient is assignment an occupation, to help him keep his mind clear and focus his efforts towards a more constructive endeavor.
Such is the case with physical therapies, where the patient engages in daily exercises, which are designed to keep certain neurological symptoms at bay.
For long, many physicians and therapists have been wondering if these alternative means of managing Parkinson’s have the slightest effect on the patient’s wellbeing.
It would seem that the new study confirmed their greatest fear: that there is no difference in term of disease progression between patients who received therapy and patient who didn’t receive therapy.
In order to see if the therapies are effective, a group of scientists performed a clinical study. Approximately 762 patients enrolled in this study. To determine if the therapies were effective, the scientists made random assignments: each member of the group either received a combination of physical and occupational therapy or no therapy at all. To quantify the results, the scientists made use of the Nottingham Extended Activities Plant (NEADL).
This complex survey is capable of showing how difficult or easy it is for a patient to perform a given task during one day. And the end of each working day, the patient assigns a score to each question. To yield any results, the survey must be filled out each day, for a period of three months.
Among other questions regarding physical condition or other body parameters, patients are asked to grade their ability to perform simple tasks such as walking, cooking and even cleaning.
The results of the study have shown that alternative therapies are not helping patients with Parkinson’s. Moreover, there is no significant difference between the group which received the combination of therapies and the group that received no therapy at all. According to the results, the patients which received therapy scored 1.5 points in the test, while the other groups score 1.0 points.
Doctor Carl E. Clark, the lead author of the study, declared that these results point only towards one thing: that we are in need of new therapies that can actually help a patient suffering from Parkinson’s disease.