Parkinson's disease (PD) is characterized by a progressive impairment of motor skills with deterioration of autonomy in daily living activities. Physiotherapy is regarded as an adjuvant to pharmacological and neurosurgical treatment and may provide small and short-lasting clinical benefits in PD patients. However, the development of innovative rehabilitation approaches with greater long-term efficacy is a major unmet need. Motor imagery (MI) and action observation (AO) have been recently proposed as a promising rehabilitation tool. MI is the ability to imagine a movement without actual performance (or muscle activation). The same cortical-subcortical network active during motor execution is engaged in MI. The physiological basis of AO is represented by the activation of the "mirror neuron system." Both MI and AO are involved in motor learning and can induce improvements of motor performance, possibly mediated by the development of plastic changes in the motor cortex. The review of available evidences indicated that MI ability and AO feasibility are substantially preserved in PD subjects. A few preliminary studies suggested the possibility of using MI and AO as parts of rehabilitation protocols for PD patients.

Action Observation and Motor Imagery: Innovative Cognitive Tools in the Rehabilitation of Parkinson's Disease

ABBRUZZESE, GIOVANNI;AVANZINO, LAURA;MARCHESE, ROBERTA;PELOSIN, ELISA
2015

Abstract

Parkinson's disease (PD) is characterized by a progressive impairment of motor skills with deterioration of autonomy in daily living activities. Physiotherapy is regarded as an adjuvant to pharmacological and neurosurgical treatment and may provide small and short-lasting clinical benefits in PD patients. However, the development of innovative rehabilitation approaches with greater long-term efficacy is a major unmet need. Motor imagery (MI) and action observation (AO) have been recently proposed as a promising rehabilitation tool. MI is the ability to imagine a movement without actual performance (or muscle activation). The same cortical-subcortical network active during motor execution is engaged in MI. The physiological basis of AO is represented by the activation of the "mirror neuron system." Both MI and AO are involved in motor learning and can induce improvements of motor performance, possibly mediated by the development of plastic changes in the motor cortex. The review of available evidences indicated that MI ability and AO feasibility are substantially preserved in PD subjects. A few preliminary studies suggested the possibility of using MI and AO as parts of rehabilitation protocols for PD patients.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11567/853795
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