A research experiment on the use of the ground-based microgravity model using “dry” immersion (DI) procedures as a rehabilitation measure for reducing the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (PD) is presented in this review. It has been established that a single short-term DI procedure has a strong effect on the hemodynamics of a patient with PD, decreasing the diastolic blood pressure, improving the structure of the cardiac rhythm, and reducing the amplitude and recurrence of the summary electromyogram, as well as the degree of muscle rigidity. A treatment course consisting of seven separate DI procedures reduces muscle rigidity and the severity of motor symptoms diagnosed by the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale pt. III (UPDRS-III), the degree of depression determined by Hamilton’s Depression Rating Scale (HDRS), and the severity of autonomic symptoms estimated by Vein’s scale. As the reaction time tests have shown, the DI course has a higher positive effect on tests with a high cognitive load than on ordinary motor tests. The obtained clinical and instrumental physiological data confirm that DI favorably affects many autonomic, affective, and cognitive parameters, as well as muscle rigidity.
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The study was supported by the Ministry of Science and Education of Russia (State Contract no. 0752-2020-0007 to AM).
Conflict of interests. The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Statement of compliance with standards of research involving humans as subjects. The protocol of the study was approved by the Committee for Ethics, Health and Social Development Ministry of the Republic of Karelia and the Petrozavodsk State University (Protocol no. 31 of December 18, 2014). Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants involved in the study.
Translated by N. Tarasyuk
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Meigal, A.Y., Gerasimova-Meigal, L.I. & Saenko, I.V. Physiological Reactions of Patients with Parkinsonism to Simulated Microgravity Using “Dry” Immersion: A Pilot Study. Hum Physiol 46, 579–586 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1134/S0362119720050096
- “dry” immersion
- Parkinson’s disease
- muscle rigidity
- muscle tone
- heart rate variability
- autonomic regulation
- reaction time