Main idea: The study provides evidence that all three exercise programs (the effect of Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT) BIG, an intensified and personalized physiotherapy (INTENSIVE), and conventional physiotherapy (NORMAL)) are effective techniques to improve non-motor symptoms as well as motor function in Parkinson’s disease patients.
Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients experience disabling motor dysfunctions as well as non-motor symptoms (NMSs) NMSs can highly impact their perceived quality of life. This study aimed to investigate the effect of Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT) BIG, an intensified and personalized physiotherapy, and conventional physiotherapy on NMS. Forty-four patients with mild to moderate PD were randomly assigned to one of the three treatment groups. LSVT BIG and INTENSIVE were delivered one-on-one in 16 1-hour sessions within 4 weeks. NORMAL received 16 individual sessions within 8 weeks. The primary outcome measure was a difference in change from baseline in the non-motor symptom assessment scale for Parkinson’s disease. ANCOVA (Analysis of Covariance) showed reduced NMSS scores for all groups. For secondary outcome measures (stride length, gait velocity, and chair rising test) LSVT BIG and INTENSIVE were both superior to NORMAL.