Potential of Whole-Body Vibration in Parkinson's disease: A systematic review and meta-analysis of human and animal studies

Y Laurisa Arenales Arauz, Gargi Ahuja, Ype P T Kamsma, Arjan Kortholt, Eddy A van der Zee, Marieke J G van Heuvelen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
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(1) Background: When the severity of Parkinson's Disease (PD) increases, patients often have difficulties in performing exercises. Whole-Body Vibration (WBV) may be a suitable alternative. This systematic review aims to clarify if WBV shows potential as rehabilitative therapy for PD patients. (2) Methods: We searched several databases for controlled trials investigating the effects of WBV (1) on PD populations and (2) PD neuropathological mechanisms. We included both human and animal studies and performed meta-analyses. (3) Results: The studies on PD populations (14 studies) show an overall significant, but small, effect in favor of WBV (Hedges' g = 0.28), for which the effects on stability (Hedges' g = 0.39) and balance (Hedges' g = 0.30) are the most prominent. The studies on the neuropathological mechanisms (18 studies) show WBV effects on neuroinflammation (Hedges' g = -1.12) and several specific WBV effects on neurotransmitter systems, growth factors, neurogenesis, synaptic plasticity and oxidative stress. (4) Conclusions: The effects of WBV on human PD patients remains inconclusive. Nevertheless, WBV protocols with sufficient duration (≥3 weeks), session frequency (≥3 sessions/week) and vibration frequency (≥20 Hz) show potential as a treatment method, especially for motor function. The potential of WBV for PD patients is confirmed by the effects on the neuropathological mechanisms in mostly non-PD populations. We recommend high-quality future studies on both PD patients and PD mouse models to optimize WBV protocols and to examine the neuropathological mechanisms in PD populations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11081238
Number of pages34
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 19-Aug-2022


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