Background Huntington's disease (HD) produces balance and gait impairments that increase fall risk and decrease quality of life for affected individuals.
Aims This study examined the efficacy of an exercise program using the video game Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) to improve dynamic balance and mobility in individuals with HD. Methods. Participants were 20 adults with HD who could ambulate 10 feet without assistance. A randomized, cross-over, control design was utilized. Subjects were assigned to experimental (n=12) and control (n=8) groups. After 6 weeks of usual care, the experimental group performed DDR for 45 min 2x/week for 6 weeks in their homes with a researcher. The control group performed a handheld video game. Subjects were pre-tested when entering the study and immediately prior to the intervention, and post-tested after the DDR intervention.
Results Preliminary data analysis suggests a trend for improved Tinetti Mobility Test balance scores in subjects with mid-stage disease (UHDRS≥42) while early stage subjects (UHDRS≤42) showed a greater improvement on UHDRS Cognitive Assessments following the DDR intervention. Subjects showed improvements in the 4-square step test after the intervention suggesting improved dynamic balance. Subjects reported that the DDR game was fun, challenging, and highly motivating. Conclusions. The preliminary results indicate that DDR is well tolerated, and may improve dynamic balance and cognition in this population. Analysis is on-going to determine if the DDR intervention improves spatiotemporal gait measures.
- dance dance revolution
- video game
- physical therapy
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