The Next Blockbuster Parkinson’s Treatment: Exercise!

Every study that looked at it found that exercise is beneficial for people with Parkinson’s. What is new is a study that revealed that higher levels of physical activity slow cognitive decline in APOE-4 carriers, an especially high-risk group.

Exercise acts as a symptomatic therapy, much like levodopa, meaning that it alleviates motor, mood and sleep problems. Importantly, it also may slow progression of the disease.

The type of exercise does not matter but it should be safe so that the patient does not fall, intense enough to cause panting, and enjoyable so patients stick to it. Unexpectedly, people with significant disability find that they are comfortable and secure while boxing, riding a bicycle (outside, not only stationary), playing hockey and even surfing.

Keep in mind that effects wear off after 6 weeks, so keep it up.

See the article by Kim et al in Neurology, March 31, 2021.

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