After conducting a study on two groups of subjects suffering from early stages of the disease, a research team from the University of Birmingham has stated that Parkinson’s disease might not be quelled with physical exercise at all. This comes as a rather grim piece of news, considering that Parkinson’s is fairly common in people over the age of 50.
The disease’s symptoms in its early stages range from slower movements and shaking to muscle rigidity and difficulty while walking. Even if the disease doesn’t affect the muscles directly, it impacts the subject’s nervous system leading to a degeneration of motor skills. In later stages, dementia, severe depression and sensory problems are the most common effects.
The two groups encompassed 762 patients, with the first group receiving physical and occupational exercise therapies while the second one was left alone. The difference in benefits gained was close to none when comparing the two groups. But the research team did state that their finding should not deter people diagnosed with early stages of Parkinson’s from targeted exercise therapies.
The therapies to which the study participants were subjected tended to be on the general side of treatments. Further studies have to be conducted in order to see exactly what types of exercise prove to be the most beneficial in combating the onset of Parkinson’s disease. For instance, aerobics have been proven time and time again to benefit people diagnosed with the illness.
It is worth noting that even if this study shows how exercise doesn’t necessarily help with Parkinson’s, its benefits in other sides of the spectrum should not be ignored in any way. Regular exercise can help with maintaining a patient’s general health above average levels, as well as improving the subject’s mental health, depending on the type of exercise underwent.
The study used several types of therapies, including balance, posture, sleeping and fatigue exercises. The team did state after the study was concluded that subjects who were suffering from mid-stage and late stage Parkinson’s did show larger improvements after the physical therapies were applied.
Although the study tells us that Parkinson’s disease might not be quelled with physical exercise, this finding has to be taken with a pinch of salt. Benefits gained from these types of treatments might differ from one individual to another depending on the method of exercising underwent by the patient.