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We read with great interest the article by Macerollo et al. entitled “Non-invasive intervention for motor signs of Parkinson’s Disease: the effect of vibratory stimuli.” The authors evaluated the use of a wearable device called the "Emma Watch" that produces a constant vibratory stimulus (200 Hz) to the wrist with frequencies of 20 bpm or 60 bpm in terms of motor function of the arms of 16 patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Motor performance was assessed through three different tasks: a nine-peg hole test, a STYAR tracing task, and a SPIRAL tracking test. The authors found that patients with PD who used the device with 200 Hz peripheral vibration modulated by 60 bpm as they carried out these tasks performed better in terms of speed and precision. The final conclusion was that vibrotactile stimulation can improve motor function in patients with PD. It is important to comment that the authors did not discuss their results in terms of other studies in the literature, including one systematic review published in 2014  and another with a meta-analysis published in 2020.  In these studies, vibratory stimulation in patients with PD was generally seen to yield positive results with regard to balance and gait. [2,3] From a historical point of view, the pioneering and seminal work of Jean-Martin Charcot, who used a vibrating chair to treat patients with PD, should also be noted.[4,5]
1. Macerollo A, Holz C, Cletheror D, et al. Non-invasiv...
1. Macerollo A, Holz C, Cletheror D, et al. Non-invasive intervention for motor signs of Parkinson’s Disease: the effect of vibratory stimuli. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2020; September. Online ahead of print.
2. Sharififara S, Coronado RA, Romero S, Azari H, Thigpen M. The effects of whole body vibration on mobility and balance in Parkinson’s Disease: a systematic review. IJMS 2014; 39 (4): 318-326.
3. Marazzi S, Kiper P, Palmer K, Agostini M, Turolla A. Effects of vibratory stimulation on balance and gait in Parkinson’s Disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Eur J Phys Rehabil Med 2020; Jan 14. Doi: 10.23736/S1973-9087.20.06099. Online ahead of print.
4. Goetz CG. Jean-Martin Charcot and his vibratory chair for Parkinson Disease. Neurology 2009; 73 (6): 475-478.
5. Kapur SS, Stebbins G, Goetz CG. Vibration therapy for Parkinson’s Disease: Charcot´s studies revisited. J Parkinsons Dis 2012; 2 (1): 23-27.