Faculty Advisor(s)

Michael Fillyaw

Document Type

Course Paper

Publication Date



© 2017 Kelly Trancygier


Background and Purpose: Parkinson’s disease (PD) is typically diagnosed in individuals over the age of 60. The patient in this case report was diagnosed at age 49 which is considered young-onset PD. PD affects 1.5% of the US population over the age of 65. Although there is no cure and the disease itself is not fatal, its effects can be very debilitating. PD typically occurs in five stages. Case Description: The patient was a 54-year-old female that presented to physical therapy with a diagnosis of PD. Initially, she presented with impaired balance, limited range of motion (ROM), impaired standing posture, impaired gait, and decreased flexibility. Outcome measures included the Lower Extremity Functional Scale (LEFS) and Timed “Up and Go” (TUG). The interventions performed included proprioceptive and closed kinetic chain exercises, gait training, transfer training, and manual therapy. Outcomes: LEFS, balance, ROM, and flexibility improved, while strength remained unchanged. With gait training and transfer training, however, TUG scores remained the same. Although the patient demonstrated improvements in some of the outcome measures, she was unable to achieve all of her goals for physical therapy. For future patients with similar presentations, a revision of the original interventions, in conjunction with additional interventions, may be effective in treating patients with young-onset PD. Discussion: This case report was designed to assess the outcomes of multiple physical therapy interventions on a patient with stage III, young-onset PD. Future research should be conducted to further study the best physical therapy interventions needed to improve functional outcomes for patients with stage III PD.


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




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