Parkinsons Disease and Exercise - Parkinson's Movement

Parkinson's Movement

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Parkinsons Disease and Exercise


Physicians tend to underestimate the importance of exercise for combating PD. Their first line of defense is often drug therapy, and not often is exercise added to that regimen. However, Formissano et al. (1992) found that in a comparison between patients with PD treated using drug therapy only and patients treated with drug therapy and exercise, there was a significantly lower level of disability in the latter group. Although the movement disorders associated with PD can cause considerable impairment and disability, the leading cause of death for those living with PD is respiratory complications such as pneumonia and cardiovascular disease (CVD) (Stanley et al., 1999). Some of the cardiovascular (CV) abnormalities often seen in PD subjects are orthostatic hypotension, cardiac arrhythmia, and less commonly, hypertension.

12 Replies

Not my neurologist. He emphasized exercise as having the possibility of being a cure.

They also tend to tell patients that I do not have Pd, even though I have been diagnosed by 4 neurologists and a sniffer dog. I still have Pd, but the movement symptoms are at a much lower level. The others are at a higher level but I can live a normal life as is,

Hikoi in reply to JohnPepper

My goodness, four neuros!! Where you not satisfied with the first three?

JohnPepper in reply to Hikoi

Such cynicism! My fist neurologist left South Africa to live in the USA. I stopped seeing the second neurologist because he increased my levodopa medication, even though I was getting better! I only saw the third Neurologist once, before moving to Cape Town. I only needed to see the fourth neurologist once, when I felt that I no longer needed to consult any more neurologists, as I was so much better.

People like you don't believe there is anything we can do to overcome some of the movement symptoms, but fortunately, there are others who do!

Hikoi in reply to JohnPepper


I think movement disorder physicians generally know the benefits of exercise and most expect their patients to be informed too. I wouldnt want my specialist to take up too much of the consultation time on exercise when I can get physio to guide me but no one else can guide me in drug treatment.

There are heaps and heaps of tweets and blogs on the topic of exercise i cant believe a pwp can be unaware.

iqbaliqbal in reply to Hikoi

I agree, however we should admit that exercise is of no less importance than the medicines. BTW I am of the belief that the doctors are not of much help as far as PD is concerned. They can only experiment with different different doses of a few known drugs and nothing more than that. And yes they are also well versed with PD symptoms and can share diagnosis with the patients

That was the case a few years ago but these days Exercise is seen by many to be the key to slowing the progression of PD. The European Parkinson’s therapy centre in Italy ,PD warrior (started in Australia but now in many countries),the Mayo clinic,MJ Fox foundation,David Phinney foundation to name a few all champion exercise . In my experience people in general not just with PD ,would rather take a pill than have to take exercise. They really don’t know what they are missing out on.

There is something about Fate Walking that does not happen with all forms of exercise. That is the maintenance of a high rate of exertion for a maximum of an hour.

I will lay my head on a block if our brains don't produce more GDNF while we do that. GDNF, as its name implies. repairs the damaged brain cells and that leads to more dopamine being produced and the symptoms getting better.

I study to confirm this would cost very little, and if found to be correct, which I have no doubt that it would, then we are getting somewhere.

Since i developed Atrial Fibrillation I have been unable to walk fast and that has only been for the past six months and I can already feel the effect of this with my shuffling and loss of muscle coordination.

gaga1958 in reply to JohnPepper

I'm so sorry to hear that John. Can you get an ablation done? My husband had that procedure done, it took 2 times but it worked.

JohnPepper in reply to gaga1958

Hi Chrisz. As I have said to Iqbaliqbal, I am seeing my Cardiac Specialist in three hour's time.

Hope you are back to Fast Walking very soon

Hi Iqbaliqbal. That is very kind of you! I am seeing my Cardiac specialist today, so I will soon know where I stand.

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