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Potential of Whole-Body Vibration in Parkinson's Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Human and Animal studies

Journal Contribution - Review Article

(1) Background: When the severity of Parkinson's Disease (PD) increases, patients often have difficulties in performing exercises. Whole-Body Vibration (WBV) may be a suitable alternative. This systematic review aims to clarify if WBV shows potential as rehabilitative therapy for PD patients. (2) Methods: We searched several databases for controlled trials investigating the effects of WBV (1) on PD populations and (2) PD neuropathological mechanisms. We included both human and animal studies and performed meta-analyses. (3) Results: The studies on PD populations (14 studies) show an overall significant, but small, effect in favor of WBV (Hedges' g = 0.28), for which the effects on stability (Hedges' g = 0.39) and balance (Hedges' g = 0.30) are the most prominent. The studies on the neuropathological mechanisms (18 studies) show WBV effects on neuroinflammation (Hedges' g = -1.12) and several specific WBV effects on neurotransmitter systems, growth factors, neurogenesis, synaptic plasticity and oxidative stress. (4) Conclusions: The effects of WBV on human PD patients remains inconclusive. Nevertheless, WBV protocols with sufficient duration (≥3 weeks), session frequency (≥3 sessions/week) and vibration frequency (≥20 Hz) show potential as a treatment method, especially for motor function. The potential of WBV for PD patients is confirmed by the effects on the neuropathological mechanisms in mostly non-PD populations. We recommend high-quality future studies on both PD patients and PD mouse models to optimize WBV protocols and to examine the neuropathological mechanisms in PD populations.
Journal: Biology
Issue: 8
Volume: 11
Publication year:2022
Keywords:animal experimentation, exercise therapy, gait, human experimentation, motor skills, neurogenesis, neuroinflammation, neuropathology, neurotransmitters, postural balance