‘Give unusual tasks for people suffering from Parkinson’s disease’

At the World Federation for NeuroRehabilitation (WFNR) which is hosting its 10th World Congress here in Mumbai, Jean Michel Gracies, world-renowned expert on the neurorehabilitation of movement from France emphasized that doctors should give unusual things to do for the people suffering from Parkinson’s disease

'Give unusual tasks for people suffering from Parkinson's'

Dr Jean Michel Garcies was speaking on the topic titled, ‘Neuro-rehabilitation in Parkinson’s disease’. He emphasised on three ways that doctors should use while treating patient with Parkinson disease. They are:
1)      High Intensity motor muscle strengthening

2)      Aerobic training, effects of which are established in animal literature

3)      Attention strategies for de-habituation

Parkinson’s disease affects the way you move. It happens when there is a problem with certain nerve cells in the brain. The most obvious symptoms that it shows are shaking, rigidity, slowness of movement, and difficulty with walking.

“The motor movement of right handed people was seen to affect more on the right hand. When it comes to ‘de-habituation’, we need our patients to do something unusual. Making movements unusual to improve them. Also there are techniques like aerobic techniques which we are not following enough,” said Gracies.

He also mentioned about two stages in the Parkinson’s disease. “We are yet to see the exact stage where the patient starts not responding to the treatment. But, at that stage the strategy for treating patient should be to train the caregiver. At this advanced stage, offering physical treatment and training to patient does not help much and giving it to caregiver helps optimize home safety for the patient.”

While taking about what unusual things a trainer should ask the patient, he said, “When you want your patient to walk fast, ask him to take big steps. Ask him to do things unusual things and the performance improves.” While informing for patients who suffer from freezing, he said, “The doctor should follow the strategy of stop and take one step only.”