Parkinson’s disease and virtual reality rehabilitation: cognitive reserve influences the walking and balance outcome

Isabella Imbimbo, Daniele Coraci, Claudia Santilli, Claudia Loreti, Giulia Piccinini, Diego Ricciardi, Letizia Castelli, Augusto Fusco, Anna Rita Bentivoglio, Luca Padua

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista


Introduction: Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative pathology characterized by motor and non-motor symptoms that often lead to several impairments. Many studies show the efficacy of different rehabilitation protocols aimed to improve balance and gait functions in PD patients. However, multiple factors may influence rehabilitation outcome. Recently, it has been observed as the cognitive reserve (CR) may influence the rehabilitation outcome, helping to address the patient toward technological or conventional rehabilitation. Our study investigated how CR may affect motor rehabilitation outcomes in PD patients who undergo virtual reality (VR) rehabilitation, aimed at improving walking and balance. Materials and methods: Thirty patients affected by idiopathic PD were enrolled. Patients underwent 12 sessions VR training, over 6 weeks (45 min). Six-Minute Walk Test (6MWT) and Berg Balance Scale (BBS) were used to assess walking and balance, respectively. CR was assessed by Cognitive Reserve Index questionnaire (CRIq). Results: Significant correlations between CR and change from baseline in walking and balance measures were found, with a significant positive correlation between CRIq and 6MWT (r=0.50, p=0.01) and between CRIq and BBS (r=0.41, p=0.04). Discussion: Our results showed that PD patients with higher CR treated with VR improved significantly more in their balance and walking distance than those with lower CR. The current study suggests that VR when aimed to improve balance and walking in PD patients is more effective in patients with higher CR.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)N/A-N/A
RivistaNeurological Sciences
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2021


  • Cognitive reserve
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Personalized medicine
  • Rehabilitation
  • Virtual reality


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