Faculty Advisor(s)

Amy J. Litterini

Document Type

Course Paper

Publication Date



© 2015 Nicholas LaSarso


Background and Purpose: Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a movement disorder that can lead to declines in function and falls. As a common age-related neurological diagnosis, PD is most often accompanied by other co-morbidities. The purpose of this case report is to document the physical therapy management of a patient presenting with PD and other co-morbidities. This case report looks at the outcomes of strength and balance exercises on the patient’s impairments, mobility and overall function. Case Description: The 69 year-old male patient presented with a history of PD, Lyme disease, osteoarthritis, peripheral neuropathy (PN) and exposure to Agent Orange. He underwent a therapy program utilizing various forms of strength and balance activities to help improve deficits and help prevent further decline in function. Outcome measures included the Timed-Up-and Go (TUG) and Patient Specific Functional Scale (PSFS). Strength, balance, range-of-motion and coordination were also tracked over the course of therapy. Functional outcomes and impairments were tested at the initial evaluation and at two-week intervals over the course of 14 weeks. Outcomes: At the end of the episode of care, the patient was found to have improved strength, balance and TUG scores compared to the initial evaluation measurements. Coordination, sensation, gait and the average score on the PSFS remained relatively unchanged. Discussion: Despite PD and several co-morbidities, the patient was found to have improvements in strength, balance and functional outcomes. The patient’s lack of improvement with certain outcome measures may be due to his complex medical history. A longer duration therapy program and future research focusing on additional types of therapies may be warranted to achieve maximal rehabilitation outcomes.


The case report poster for this paper can be found here:




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