Faculty Advisor(s)

Maureen Romanow Pascal



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Background & Purpose: Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that affects a person’s central nervous system (CNS) as well as dopamine production. Most cases of PD cause the patient to have postural instability, difficulty with ambulation, as well as a resting tremor. Patients diagnosed with PD show a slow decline in overall function and therefore, need to maintain physical activity in order to plateau PD. Traditionally, patients with PD undergo conventional methods of physical therapy (PT) to help plateau their disease. Our literature review looked into the effectiveness of non-traditional methods such as aquatic therapy, robot-assisted gait training (RAGT), and virtual reality (VR). Methods: We started our search in January 2021, using the PubMed database, and found 7,222 articles. Using the combination of “Parkinson’s disease” with the terms “aquatic therapy”, “robot-assisted gait training”, “virtual reality”, “pathophysiology”, “end-effector”, and “stepping time” and narrowed down our articles to 11. As this is a literature review, we would skim the abstracts and then decide from there whether to read the entire article to use it for our research. Results & Discussion: Aquatic therapy, RAGT, and VR are all beneficial to individuals with PD when looking for balance improvement. Conclusion: More research is needed in aquatic therapy, RAGT, and VR when looking into the effectiveness and benefits for individuals with PD and PT should consider treating patients with PD with non-conventional methods if available.

Publication Date


Document Type



Physical Therapy


Parkinson's, Aquatics, Virtual Reality, Robotics


Medicine and Health Sciences | Other Analytical, Diagnostic and Therapeutic Techniques and Equipment

The Effectiveness of Aquatic Therapy, Robot Assisted Gait Training, and Virtual Reality on Patients with Parkinson's Disease: A Literature Review