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Effect of robot-assisted gait training on motor dysfunction in Parkinson's patients:A systematic review and meta-analysis.

BACKGROUND: Robot-assisted gait training (RAGT) has been reported to treat motor dysfunction in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) in the last few years. However, the benefits of RAGT for treating motor dysfunction in PD are still unclear.

OBJECTIVES: To investigate the efficacy of RAGT for motor dysfunction in PD patients.

METHODS: We searched PubMed, Web of Science, Cochrane Library, Embase, CNKI, Wanfang, Chinese Biomedical Literature Database (CBM), and Chinese VIP Database for randomized controlled trials investigating RAGT to improve motor dysfunction in PD from the databases' inception dates until September 1, 2022. The following outcome indexes were employed to evaluate motor dysfunction: the Berg Balance Scale (BBS), Activities-specific Balance Confidence Scale (ABC), 10-Meter Walk Test gait speed (10-MWT), gait speed, stride length, cadence Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale Part III (UPDRS III), 6-Minute Walk Test (6MWT), and the Timed Up and Go test (TUG). The meta-analysis was performed using the proper randomeffect model or fixed-effect model to evaluate the difference in efficacy between the RAGT and the control groups. The Cochrane Risk of Bias Tool was used for the included studies and Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluations (GRADE) was used to interpret the certainty of the results.

RESULTS: The results consisted of 17 studies comprising a total of 670 participants. Six hundred and seven PD patients with motor dysfunction were included: 335 in the RAGT group and 335 in the control group. This meta-analysis results established that when compared with the control group, robot-assisted gait training improved the BBS results of PD patients (MD: 2.80, 95%CI: 2.11-3.49, P< 0.00001), ABC score (MD: 7.30, 95%CI: 5.08-9.52, P< 0.00001), 10-MWT (MD: 0.06, 95%CI: 0.03-0.10, P= 0.0009), gait speed (MD: 3.67, 95%CI: 2.58-4.76, P< 0.00001), stride length (MD: 5.53, 95%CI: 3.64-7.42, P< 0.00001), cadence (MD: 4.52, 95%CI: 0.94-8.10, P= 0.01), UPDRS III (MD: -2.16, 95%CI: -2.48--1.83, P< 0.00001), 6MWT (MD: 13.87, 95%CI: 11.92-15.82, P< 0.00001). However, RAGT did not significantly improve the TUG test result of patients with PD (MD =-0.56, 95% CI: -1.12-0.00, P= 0.05). No safety concerns or adverse reactions among robot-assisted gait training patients were observed.

CONCLUSION: Even though RAGT can improve balance function, walking function, and gait performance and has demonstrated positive results in several studies, there is currently insufficient compelling evidence to suggest that it can improve all aspects of lower motor function.

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