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External focus improves postural stability in patients with Parkinson's disease
Date:3/26/2009

rkinson disease.

"In the past 12 years or so, numerous studies have been done many of them involving healthy adults learning sport skills and it has consistently been found that individuals perform and learn motor skills more effectively when they are instructed to adopt an external focus. Other studies have shown that those advantages generalize to people after stroke as well as to the rehabilitation of ankle sprains, for example. This is a very reliable effect, and the current study demonstrates that persons with Parkinson disease benefit from an external attentional focus as well," Wulf explained.

"Findings from this study not only have the potential to enhance the rehabilitation strategies of physical therapists working with patients with Parkinson disease, but may ultimately give patients with postural instability more control over their lives through the use of strategies that help them manage their own balance safely and effectively," said Rebecca Lewthwaite, PhD, of Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center, a co-author on the study.


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Contact: Stephanie Block
stephanieblock@apta.org
703-706-3397
American Physical Therapy Association
Source:Eurekalert

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