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Exercise Helps Parkinson's Patients

Taken together, the data from a number of investigations suggest that functional improvements can be achieved with exercise for people in early and midstage Parkinson's Disease (PD). These improvements may be instrumental in preserving independence and in restoring or preserving functional ability across a spectrum of activities for people in early and midstage PD.

This study explores whether an exercise intervention for patients in early and midstage Parkinson's disease (PD) can improve spinal flexibility and physical performance.

The study participants were 51 men and women, aged 55 to 84, who had received a diagnosis of PD from a neurologist. Patients received a 10-week, 30-session, individualized exercise program during which changes in spinal flexibility and physical performance were assessed.

Half of the 45 subjects who participated in the exercise intervention had significant pain, and nearly a third of these described some relief of pain with the exercises. Other changes included bed mobility/transfers, greater ability to look behind while driving and improved ability to use the arms for specific functions (reaching into cupboards, scratching the back).

Schenkman M, Cutson TM. Kuchibhatla, et al. Exercise to improve spinal flexibility and function for people with Parkinson's Disease: A randomized, controlled trial. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 1998;46, pp1207-16.


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Date Last Modified - Monday, 27-Jul-2009 09:13:53 PDT