The effects of exergames on upper extremity performance, trunk mobility, gait, balance, and cognition in Parkinson’s disease: a randomized controlled study

ÇETİN B., KILINÇ M., Çakmaklı G. Y.

Acta Neurologica Belgica, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s13760-023-02451-3
  • Journal Name: Acta Neurologica Belgica
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, EMBASE
  • Keywords: Cognition, Exergames, Parkinson’s disease, Physiotherapy, Rehabilitation, Upper extremity
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Background: In recent years, game-based exercises have been included more in the rehabilitation programs of Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients and positive effects have been observed. Aim: This study aims to investigate the effects of innovative games particularly designed for neurological patients on upper extremity performance, trunk mobility and cognition in patients with PD. Method: Twenty-three patients were enrolled in this randomized controlled study and randomly allocated into two groups: Exergames Program (EP) and Conventional Exercise Program (CP). Both groups received supervised physiotherapy sessions for 3 days a week and 8 weeks in total (24 sessions). Each session lasted 1 h. Evaluations were applied before and after the treatment: 9-Hole Peg Test (9-HPT), Minnesota Manual Dexterity Test (MMDT), Trunk Impairment Scale (TIS), Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (MDS-UPDRS), Timed Up and Go (TUG), Functional Reach Test (FRT), and Parkinson Disease Questionnaire (PDQ-39). Results: Twenty patients were included in the analysis because of the dropouts. Our findings showed that both groups improved significantly in 9-HPT dominant side, MMDT, TIS, MDS-UPDRS, TUG, FRT, and PDQ-39 (p < 0.05). MoCA scores of EP group improved significantly (p < 0.05) while CP group’s did not (p > 0.05). It was found that EP group had better improvements in 9-HPT dominant side, MMDT turning test, and MoCA than CP group when the differences in the changes within the groups were compared (p < 0.05). Conclusion: Game-based training can be a useful rehabilitation tool to improve upper extremities performance, trunk mobility, cognition, functional mobility, balance, and quality of life and may have superiority over conventional exercises in improving cognition and upper extremity functions. Clinical trial number: NCT05235880. Release Date: April 1, 2022.