ParkC’s non-pharmaceutical interventions: benefits of exercise for people with Parkinson's
Extensive scientific literature supports resistance training as being the most effective exercise method available for improving muscle strength, muscle hypertrophy and physical function, and substantially contributes to skeletal health. There is unquestionable evidence of the benefits of regular exercise for neurologically normal older adults and in the prevention and management of several chronic diseases (i.e stroke, cancer, diabetes).
Some research suggests that physical exercise is also beneficial for people with Parkinson’s. It improves physical functioning, health related quality of life, strength, balance and gait speed. Recently preliminary experiments have indicated that resistance exercise alone can improve muscle strength and function performance in people with Parkinson’s.
Currently there is no evidence linking exercise with improved cognitive function in people with Parkinson’s. But there is a growing body of evidence to suggest that both aerobic and combined aerobic and resistance training exercise leads to improvements in cognitive functioning for neurologically normal older adults.
At ParkC, we are developing tailored exercise programs to improve the quality of life for people with Parkinson’s. The research program will identify the optimal types of exercise, as well as appropriate durations and frequencies.
Our research is particularly focused on determining the optimal exercise program for improving both motor (physical functioning, strength, balance, bone mineral density) and non-motor (cognitive and psychological) symptom of Parkinson’s.