Article

Self-Reported Exercise Trends in Parkinson’s Disease Patients

Authors:
  • Massachusetts General Hospital/Boston University
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Abstract

Objective To examine trends in type, frequency, and effectiveness of different modes of exercise in patients with Parkinson’s Disease (PD). Background Exercise has been shown to improve symptoms in PD patients. Recent studies suggest that dance may be a particularly helpful exercise option. However, it remains unclear how the benefits of various forms of exercise compare to dance and to each other. Information on these trends can help inform future exercise programs for PD patients. Method 55 PD patients completed a survey on their exercise frequency, the impact of exercise on their symptoms, and whether they exercise alone or in groups. 9 PD patients who attend dance therapy classes completed an extended survey with additional questions comparing the benefit of dance therapy to traditional forms of exercise. Results Of the 64 patients surveyed, 67% of patients exercised at least twice a week for at least 30 minutes at a time, and 28% of patients exercised alone only. Walking was most commonly reported (77%), followed by stretching (52%), and weights (28%). 97% of patients who exercised noted mitigation of their PD symptoms. Additionally, a significantly greater percentage of patients who exercised in groups reported symptomatic improvements compared to patients who only exercised alone (p = 0.03). Conclusion More patients who participated in group exercise reported symptomatic improvement compared to those who exercised strictly alone. This suggests that the psychosocial and cognitive component of group therapy, such as dance, may confer additional benefits to PD patients.

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... 5 While individuals typically respond well to treatment, PD is progressive and generally requires an increasing amount of medication and symptom management further into the disease process. 3 Numerous studies have assessed and demonstrated benefits of independent exercise and groupbased exercise, in the management of motor and cognitive symptoms associated with PD. [6][7][8][9][10] Traditional exercises-including strength, flexibility, aerobic training, and balance training-have been shown to have positive impacts on those with PD on measures of muscle strength, endurance, gait, physical fitness and function, balance control, postural instability, transfers, freezing of gait, and reduction in the number of falls. 6 Non-traditional exercises have shown improvements in gait speed, 8,[11][12][13] quality of life (QOL), 8,11,[14][15][16][17] dynamic and static balance, 11,13,15,17 functional mobility, 14,15,17 and motor scores based on the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS). ...
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... Although some inconsistent results exist, regular physical exercising in many of these studies reported PAI-1 levels were reduced while tPA levels were increased, which results in enhanced fibrinolysis [42][43][44][45][46][47][48]. Likewise, strenuous exercise in PD slows disease progression, and motor deficiencies are improved with a better quality-of-life [49][50][51][52][53]. It is interesting to speculate about what PAI-1 levels would be in PwP due to strenuous exercise, and if reduced, what role of lowering PAI-1 levels might provide in slowing the progression of PD? ...
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