The aim of the study was to verify the effect of a virtual rehabilitation protocol for patients with Parkinson disease, primarily assessing striatal dopamine transporters and secondarily motor symptoms and quality of life.
Nineteen patients with Parkinson disease underwent an 8-wk virtual rehabilitation protocol using XBOX 360S. Evaluation of dopamine transporters was performed by single-photon emission computed tomography using TRODAT-1 as the radioligand. Participants were clinically assessed using the Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale to quantify motor symptoms. Moreover, the Parkinson Disease Questionnaire and Short-Form Health Status Survey were used to assess quality of life and the Berg Balance Scale to assess balance.
Regarding our primary outcome, dopamine transporter was significantly increased in the putamen contralateral to the clinically most affected body side (P = 0.034) considering preintervention and postintervention measurements. Furthermore, we observed significant improvement in Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale (10-point reduction, P = 0.001), Parkinson Disease Questionnaire (11.3-point reduction, P = 0.001), Short-Form Health Status Survey (“Functional capacity,” P = 0.001; “Pain,” P = 0.006; and “Mental Health” domains, P < 0.001), and Berg Balance Scale (5-point increase, P = 0.015).
In our group of Parkinson disease patients, this virtual rehabilitation protocol enabled a dopamine transporter increase in the region of the putamen contralateral to the clinically most affected body side. Moreover, motor signs and quality of life were significantly improved.