Mobility_APP Study: Investigating the Efficacy of Gait-Specific Physiotherapy in Parkinson’s Disease


Physiotherapy plays a pivotal role in enhancing mobility and quality of life for individuals with Parkinson’s Disease. The new Mobility_APP study, carried out by researchers of the Luxembourg Institute of Health and the University’s Luxembourg Centre for System Biomedicine in collaboration with physiotherapists of ParkinsonNet Luxembourg, aims to investigate the efficacy of gait-specific physiotherapy for idiopathic Parkinson’s disease and atypical Parkinsonism, including Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) and Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP). Aiming to recruit 10 people with idiopathic Parkinson's and 10 people with atypical Parkinsonism, the study team highly encourages physiotherapists to join or refer their patients to the study.

Parkinson’s disease poses a myriad of both motor and non-motor symptoms, requiring a multidisciplinary approach to care. Besides medication, physiotherapy is a cornerstone in managing Parkinson’s disease. “Together with our partners in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy, we seek to contribute valuable insights into tailored physiotherapy interventions. We are very grateful to be able to collaborate with experienced physiotherapists for ParkinsonNet Luxembourg to compare the benefits of two distinct physiotherapy programs: gait-focused physiotherapy and general physiotherapy,” explains clinician-scientist Marijus Giraitis, who leads the Mobility_APP study in Luxembourg.

Over the course of 8-weeks, participants are closely monitored while undergoing one of the two types of physiotherapies. In a first phase, an intensive two-week physiotherapy program will take place at the physiotherapist’s office, where participants receive daily 1-hour sessions on weekdays. Subsequently, participants engage in individual home exercises for 5 weeks with remote supervision by their physiotherapist through weekly phone calls. The program is accompanied by clinical examinations and sensor-based gait analysis at five visits to the Parkinson’s Research Clinic within the study period.

“Using digital medical devices, like sensors that can be easily clipped to participants’ shoes to measure gait parameters, we can analyse gait during the different physiotherapy approaches not only during the clinical visits but also at home. This will allow us to evaluate their effect on mobility in unprecedented detail,” explains Prof. Jochen Klucken, FNR PEARL Chair for Digital Medicine.

Mariella Graziano, ParkinsonNet physiotherapy trainer who is involved in the Mobility_APP study, concludes: "This study represents an important step in understanding the tailored needs of people with Parkinson’s and Parkinsonism. Gait-specific physiotherapy holds promise in enhancing mobility and independence. We are pleased ParkinsonNet can contribute to this research that will directly impact the lives of those affected by Parkinsonism."

How to participate?

The study aims to recruit 20 patients in Luxembourg—10 with idiopathic Parkinson's and 10 with atypical Parkinsonism. Active recruitment is ongoing, and physiotherapists are encouraged to join or refer patients to the study.
For more information or to participate either as physiotherapist or for people with idiopathic or atypical Parkinsonism, please contact Marijus Giraitis at marijus.giraitis [at] or +352 621 574468.