This site became the new on June 19th. Learn more.
Show more Menu IMPORTANT: Listing of a study on this site does not reflect endorsement by the National Institutes of Health. Talk with a trusted healthcare professional before volunteering for a study. Read more... Menu IMPORTANT: Talk with a trusted healthcare professional before volunteering for a study. Read more... Menu
Give us feedback

Effects of Virtual Reality Training in Patients With Parkinson's Disease (Parkinson)

This study has been completed.
National Science Council, Taiwan
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
National Taiwan University Hospital Identifier:
First received: February 18, 2011
Last updated: October 13, 2011
Last verified: February 2011

Background and Objective: Postural instability is common in patient with Parkinson's disease (PD). The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of virtual reality (VR) balance training on sensory and cognitive domains of postural control.

Setting: Balance Performance Laboratory. Participants: A total of 42 patients (Hoehn and Yahr stage II-III) were recruited and assigned into three groups randomly.

Intervention: Participants in the virtual reality (VR) group and conventional balance training (CB) group received a 6 weeks balance training program. The control group (CG) did not receive any training.

Outcome Measures: The sensory organization tests (SOT) of computerized dynamic posturography with single and dual tasks (i.e. with backward subtraction of number) were examined pre-, post-training and follow-up. The equilibrium score (ES) and sensory ratio were measured. The verbal reaction time (VRT) was recorded.

Results: (1) Only VR significantly increased ES of SOT-6 (i.e., vestibular function at visual and somatosensory conflicting condition) post-training more than CG post-training in either single or dual task. (2) Only CB training significantly increased SOT-5 (i.e., vestibular function without visual conflict) and vestibular sensory ratio (i.e., SOT-5/SOT-1) more than CG post-training in either single or dual task. (3) (3) Neither VR nor CB training reduced VRT significantly under six sensory conditions at post-training and follow-up.

Conclusion: Both VR training and CB training can improve sensory organization for postural control by enhancing utilization of vestibular information, but VR could enhance vestibular function with conflicting proprioceptive and visual information under single and dual tasks in patients with mild to moderate PD.

Condition Intervention Phase
Parkinson's Disease Behavioral: balance training Phase 1

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Factorial Assignment
Masking: Single (Investigator)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Effects of Virtual Reality Augmented Balance Training for Postural Control in Patients With Parkinson's Disease

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by National Taiwan University Hospital:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • The equilibrium score (ES) and sensory ratio were measured. The verbal reaction time (VRT) was recorded. [ Time Frame: 6 weeks ]

Enrollment: 42
Study Start Date: November 2007
Study Completion Date: December 2008
Primary Completion Date: June 2008 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: virtual reality balance training
balance board training with virtual reality intervention
Behavioral: balance training
30 minute each time, 2 times per week for 6 weeks.
Other Name: virtual reality
Experimental: conventional balance training
physical therapy conventional balance training
Behavioral: balance training
30 minute each time, 2 times per week for 6 weeks.
Other Name: virtual reality
No Intervention: control group
No physical therapy

Detailed Description:

It is common that people who are diagnosed with idiopathic Parkinson disease (PD) experience postural instability during daily activities.Recently, postural instability is suggested as the underlying mechanism of falling in patients with PD. Therefore, how to improve postural stability by balance training is an important issue for these patients.

Basal ganglia have been regarded to be predominantly involved in postural control. Several studies suggested that the dysfunction of basal ganglia in patients with PD might play a major role in postural instability. Furthermore, patients with PD might have impaired utilization of sensory information by the basal ganglia.Computerized dynamic posturography (CDP) has the Sensory Organization Test (SOT), which provides an objective assessment of the main sensory systems (i.e., vision, proprioception and vestibular system) involved in balance and stability. The role of sensory information under six conditions (i.e., eyes open, eyes closed, sway vision, eyes open sway support, eyes closed sway support, and sway vision sway support) has been studied in patients with PD by the SOT of computerized CDP. Their study indicated that patients with PD demonstrated a significant reduction in sensory integration of proprioception and vision, but no significant difference in vestibular function, as compared to age-matched controls. One study showed that patients with PD had visual dependence as an adaptive strategy partly compensating for the impaired proprioception. However, the other study suggested that the cerebellum might be important for sensory integration in patients with PD.


Ages Eligible for Study:   50 Years to 80 Years   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

(1) idiopathic Parkinson's disease, (2) intact cognition (Mini-Mental State Examination; MMSE>24), 22 (3) Hoehn and Yahr (H-Y) stage II-III diagnosed by neurologists, (4) not participated in any balance or gait training previously, (5) able to follow simple command and had no uncontrolled chronic condition.-

Exclusion Criteria:

(1) history of other neurological, cardiovascular and orthopedic diseases affecting postural stability, (2) on-off motor fluctuation and dyskinesia above grade 3 by the Unified Parkinson' Disease Scale (UPDRS)

  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01301651

National Taiwan University Hospital
Taipei, Taiwan
Sponsors and Collaborators
National Taiwan University Hospital
National Science Council, Taiwan
Principal Investigator: Kwan-Hwa Lin, PhD School and Graduate Institute of Physical Therapy, National Taiwan University
  More Information

Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
Responsible Party: National Taiwan University Hospital Identifier: NCT01301651     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 200712039R
Study First Received: February 18, 2011
Last Updated: October 13, 2011

Keywords provided by National Taiwan University Hospital:
Virtual Reality
Parkinson's disease
Dual Task

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Parkinson Disease
Parkinsonian Disorders
Basal Ganglia Diseases
Brain Diseases
Central Nervous System Diseases
Nervous System Diseases
Movement Disorders
Neurodegenerative Diseases processed this record on September 21, 2017