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Pulmonary and respiratory muscle function impairment are common in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). Inspiratory muscle training may improve strength, dyspnea and functional capacity in healthy subjects and in those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. This study investigated the effect of specific inspiratory muscle training (SIMT) on pulmonary functions, inspiratory muscle performance, dyspnea and quality of life, in patients with PD.
Patients and Methods:
Twenty patients with PD (stage II and III Hoehn and Yahr scale) were recruited for the study and were divided into two groups: a) ten patients who received SIMT and b) ten patients who received sham training, for three months. Pulmonary functions, the respiratory muscle strength and endurance, the perception of dyspnea (POD) and the quality of life were studied before and within one week after the training period. All subjects trained daily, six times a week, each session consisting of 1/2 hour, for 12 weeks.
Following the training period, there was a significant improvement, in the training group but not in the control group, in the following parameters: inspiratory muscle strength, (PImax, increased from 62.0±8.2 to 78.0±7.5 cm of H2O (p<0.05), inspiratory muscle endurance (increased from 20.0±2.8 to 29.0±3.0 cm of H2O (p<0.05), and the POD (decreased from 17.9±3.2 to 14.0±2.4 units (p<0.05). There was a close correlation between the increase in the inspiratory muscle performance and the decrease in the POD.
The inspiratory muscle performance may be improved by SIMT in patients with PD. This improvement is associated with a significant decrease in their POD.
Pulmonary and respiratory muscle function impairment are common in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). However, dyspnea is not a frequent complaint among these patients, although it is well documented that the intensity of dyspnea is related to the activity and the strength of the respiratory muscles.
Patients and Methods:
We studied pulmonary function, respiratory muscle strength and endurance and the perception of dyspnea (POD) in 20 patients with PD (stage II and III Hoehn and Yahr scale) before and after their first daily L-dopa dose. Respiratory muscle strength was assessed by measuring the maximal inspiratory and expiratory mouth pressures (PImax and PEmax), at residual volume (RV) and total lung capacity (TLC) respectively. The POD was measured while the subject breathed against progressive load and dyspnea was rated using a visual analog scale.
Respiratory muscle strength and endurance were decreased and the POD was increased during the off medication period compared to normal subjects. There was a nonsignificant trend to an increase in PImax, PEmax and endurance after L-dopa intake. The POD of PD patients decreased (p<0.05) following medication, although, it remained increased (p<0.01) as compared to the normal subjects. Even if patients had spirometry data showing a mild restrictive pattern, before medication, both forced vital capacity (FVC) and forced expiratory volume (FEV)1 remained almost identical after L-dopa intake.
Patients with PD have higher POD, compared to normal subjects and this increased perception is attenuated when the patients are on dopaminergic medication. The change in the POD is not related to changes in respiratory muscle performance or pulmonary functions. A central effect or a correction of uncoordinated respiratory movements by L-dopa may contribute to the decrease in POD following L-dopa treatment.
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