Design of the Park-in-Shape study: a phase II double blind randomized controlled trial evaluating the effects of exercise on motor and non-motor symptoms in Parkinson's disease

N.M. van der Kolk, S. Overeem, N.M. de Vries, R.P.C. Kessels, R. Donders, M. Brouwer, D. Berg, B. Post, B.R. Bloem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder with a wide range of motor and non-motor symptoms. Despite optimal medical management, PD still results in a high disability rate and secondary complications and many patients lead a sedentary lifestyle, which in turn is also associated with a higher co-morbidity and mortality. Exercise has been explored as a strategy to reduce secondary complications and results suggests that it not only provides general health benefits, but may also provide symptomatic relief. If this holds true exercise would be a very attractive addition to the therapeutic arsenal in PD. The supportive evidence remains incomplete. Here, we describe the design of the Park-in-Shape study, which primarily aims to evaluate whether aerobic exercise affords clinically relevant improvements in motor symptoms in sedentary PD patients. A specific new element is the introduction of gaming to optimize compliance to the exercise intervention.

METHODS/DESIGN: The Park-in-Shape study is a randomized controlled, assessor- and patient-blinded single center study. Two parallel groups will include a total of 130 patients, receiving either aerobic exercise on a home trainer equipped with gaming elements ("exergaming"), or a non-aerobic intervention (stretching, flexibility and relaxation exercises). Both groups are supported by a specifically designed motivational app that uses gaming elements to stimulate patients to exercise and rewards them after having completed the exercise. Both interventions are delivered at home at least 3 times a week for 30-45 minutes during 6 months. Eligible patients are community-dwelling, sedentary patients diagnosed with mild-moderate PD. The primary outcome is the MDS-UPDRS motor score (tested in the off state) after 6 months. Secondary outcomes include various motor and non-motor symptoms, quality of life, physical fitness, and adherence.

DISCUSSION: This Park-in-Shape study is anticipated to answer the question whether high intensity aerobic exercise combined with gaming elements ("exergaming") provides symptomatic relief in PD. Strong elements include the double-blinded randomized controlled trial design, the MDS-UPDRS as valid primary outcome, the large sample size and unique combination of home-based pure aerobic exercise combined with gaming elements and motivational aspects.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: Dutch trial register NTR4743.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalNeurology
Volume15
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

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