Some Parkinson patients may benefit from regular exercise: study

A new study had found that exercise might help people with Parkinson's disease to improve their balance, ability to move around and quality of life, ANI reported.

The study involved 231 people with Parkinson's disease who either received their usual care or took part in an exercise programme of 40 to 60 minutes of balance and leg strengthening exercises three times a week for six months.

In the minimally-supervised exercise programme prescribed and monitored by a physical therapist and participants performed most of the exercises at home. On average, 13 per cent of the exercise sessions were supervised by a physical therapist.

According to study author Colleen G Canning, PhD, of the University of Sydney in Australia, the resulting injuries, pain, limitations of activity and fear of falling again could really affect people's health and well-being.

She added that the results suggested that minimally supervised exercise programmes aimed at reducing falls in people with Parkinson's needed to be started early in the disease process.

The study found that compared to those in the control group, the number of falls by participants who exercised was reduced in those with less severe Parkinson's disease. However, those with more severe disease did not report any reduction. Those with less severe disease had a 70 per cent reduction in falls in those who exercised as against those who did not.

However, according to experts, this did not mean that exercise was of no help to people with more advanced Parkinson's, reported.

According to Canning it was possible they might need an exercise programme with more supervision. She said that possibility still needed to be studied. However, what seemed clear was that "one size does not fit all" when it comes to exercise therapy for Parkinson's.

Parkinson's disease is a chronic movement disorder that caused tremors, stiffness in the limbs, and balance and coordination problems, according to the Parkinson's Disease Foundation. Canning's team said about 60 per cent of people with the disorder suffered a fall at least once a year, which could have consequences ranging from serious injury to fear of being active.

According to Dr Roy Alcalay, a neurologist and medical advisor to the Parkinson's Disease Foundation in New York City, physical activity was, however, important for people with Parkinson's.