This paper reviewed and performed a meta-analysis on 18 randomised control trials (in total 1,114 participants) to investigate changes in physical and non-physical symptoms as a result from exercise in patients with PD. Two main areas of comparison were identified: 1) exercise + medication and medication alone; 2) and exercise + medication versus regular daily activity + medication. The duration of treatment within the studies varied from 1 to 14 months, and the frequency of exercise varied from 3-6 days a week.
The studies used outcome measures relating to balance, gait, motor function and overall symptoms. Two main outcome measure used throughout the studies were the Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale and the Berg Balance Scale. A couple of studies also used the Timed Up ang Go test and the 6 Minute Walking Distance.
The exercises performed in the treatment groups differed across the studies, and varied from static and dynamic balance with tasks such as single-legged stance and lateral walking, to walking programmes, core and hip strengthening, and other recreational tasks such as dance.