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The lower extremity performance in elderly female patients with mild to moderate Parkinson’s disease (PD; n = 12) and controls (n = 16) was compared. Isometric dynamometry and force-plate measurements were used. PD patients had lower (p < .05) bilateral (BL) maximal isometric leg-extension force (MF), BL isometric MF relative to body mass, and maximal rate of isometric force development than control participants. BL strength deficit was greater (p < .05) in PD patients than in controls. A significantly longer chair-rise time and lower maximal rate of vertical-ground-reaction-force development while rising from a chair was found in PD patients than in controls. These findings suggest that elderly women with PD have lowered voluntary isometric force-generation capacity of the leg-extensor muscles. Reduced BL leg-extension strength might contribute to the difficulty of individuals with PD to rise from a chair.
Pääsuke, Ereline, Gapeyeva, and Joost are with the Institute of Exercise Biology and Physiotherapy, and Mõttus and Taba, the Dept. of Neurology, University of Tartu, 51014 Tartu, Estonia.