Gait and cognitive dysfunction in Parkinson's disease are partly related to an underlying cholinergic deficit. A randomized controlled trial that was recently published in The Lancet Neurology investigated the effect of Rivastigmine, to ameliorate the cholinergic deficit, on gait variability in PD patients. The DynaPort Hybrid was used in this study to assess gait variability by means of the standard deviation of step times.
Step time variability was significantly lower in the Rivastigmine group compared to the placebo group in 2 out of 3 conditions (21% and 28% respectively) and the Rivastigmine group reported 45% less falls per month. The Rivastigmine group walked significanly faster in all three conditions as well. This is the first trial to show that Rivastigmine can improve gait stability and might reduce falls in patients with Parkinson's disease.
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