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Parkinson's Disease: Effects of Colored Glasses on Movement Times

1 May 2005


Background and purpose. Anecdotal evidence suggests that wearing blue tinted glasses helps relieve the symptoms of Parkinson's disease (PD). Though not formally tested, changes in the eye, resulting from PD, have been documented. The purpose of this study was to determine if wearing blue tinted glasses would result in an immediate decrease in the bradykinesia/akinesia associated with PD as measured by the Timed Up and Go (TUG) and Nine Hole Peg Tests.

Methods. A single-blind design with randomized trials was used. Subjects with a diagnosis of PD and rated in Hoehn and Yahr stages two to four were recruited. Each subject was tested under four randomized conditions: no glasses, blue, gray, and yellow tinted glasses. During each condition, the subjects' movement times were measured with the TUG and the Nine Hole Peg Tests. Data was analyzed using an ANOVA without replication.

Results. Data from 24 subjects, primarily in Hoehn and Yahr stage two, was used for analysis. No statistically significant differences were found between movement times in the four test conditions.

Conclusion and Discussion. Wearing blue tinted glasses did not immediately decrease the bradykinesia/akinesia associated with Parkinson's disease as measured by the TUG and the Nine Hole Peg Tests. Based upon exit questionnaire responses, subjects were unaware of movement time differences during testing conditions. Future research should address more severely impaired subjects with PD, as well as various shades of blue and the length of time glasses are worn.


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