Introduction. Primary Parkinson’s disease is the consequence of a degenerative process, being a progressive disease of the central nervous system. It is the second cause of motor disability in elderly patients, after stroke, and the second most frequent neurodegenerative disease, after Alzheimer’s disease. Băile Tușnad spa resort in Romania is recognized for its role in primary and secondary prophylaxis, as well as in the rehabilitation treatment of cardiovascular, neurological, renal, digestive, rheumatic diseases, through the presence of natural therapeutic factors specific to this area: carbonated mineral waters through their peripheral and central vasodilator effects, mofettes, natural carbon dioxide emissions, and a stimulating bioclimate.
Objectives. This study aimed to assess the clinical efficiency of natural therapeutic factors in Baile Tusnad in order to continue the rehabilitation treatment of patients with Parkinson’s disease in a spa and climatic resort.
Methods. The study included 17 patients with Parkinson’s disease Hoehn-Yahr stages 1-3, 5 women and 12 men, at the Treatment Facility of the Tusnad Spa Complex S.A., in the period April-December 2014. The patients were aged between 40 and 75 years. The clinical study was a prospective longitudinal analysis. Patients underwent rehabilitation treatment consisting of carbonated mineral water baths for 15 minutes, aerotherapy for 30 minutes daily, massotherapy, kinesiotherapy, performed daily for 16 days. Each patient was clinically assessed before and after treatment using the TINETTI Gait and Balance Scale, the 10-m walk test, the Webster Scale, the Quality of Life Scale, adverse reactions. Descriptive statistics at the two time points, before and after treatment, was performed using the specific module of the Data Analysis component – Descriptive Statistics. For each separate scale, the T-test for the comparison of the means of paired samples was applied.
Results. At the end of treatment, an improvement of the walking distance and speed, a statistically significant improvement of gait was observed, p<0.05. Statistically significant results p<0.05 were also obtained for balance. The Webster Scale, which examines the limits of movement and autonomy (16.52 vs 12.58), showed a p value <0.05. When assessing the Quality of Life Scale (69.82 vs 77), a statistically significant p value <0.05 was obtained. There were no side reactions to the treatment applied.
Conclusions. Natural therapeutic factors, i.e., carbonated mineral water baths and aerotherapy, along with kinesiotherapy, indicated for the rehabilitation treatment of patients with Parkinson’s disease, influenced the clinical and functional picture, determining a significant improvement of the quality of walking and balance, an increase of independence and quality of life, including through the social interrelations created during the rehabilitation treatment in Baile Tusnad spa resort.