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Exercise Routines

 

Establishing therapeutic exercise routines, from aerobic and strength training to balance and flexibility conditioning, is an essential component of a PD treatment plan and helps maintain mobility and everyday activities and manage overall disease progression. 

Various exercises have been evaluated for their PD treatment efficacy. For example, clinical trials have suggested that among adults with PD, power training benefits motor symptoms and muscle strength, treadmill training improves balance and gait velocity, resistance training enhances sleep quality and cognition, and several exercise modalities, including dance, improve depression.

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Yoga 

 

A 2023 scoping review synthesized the evidence from 19 relevant systematic reviews to evaluate the effects of qi gong, tai chi, and yoga in people with neurological diseases, including stroke and PD.16 Researchers found that in people with PD, all three approaches helped to improve balance while tai chi increased functional mobility.

 

A 2022 network meta-analysis of 60 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) (n=2,037 total participants) compared the efficacy of yoga, tai chi, Pilates, qi gong, and dance in PD treatment.17 Results indicated that among patients with PD:17

 

Pilates was most effective in improving functional mobility and balance performance.

 

Yoga and dance were most effective in improving motor function.

 

Qigong was most effective at improving gait speed.

 

Dance was most effective for health-related quality of life improvement.

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Meditation & Breathwork 

Research studies continue to highlight the benefits of yoga practice for people with PD, including improvement of motor and non-motor symptoms, reduced anxiety and depression, and increased well-being and health-related quality of life.

A 2021 meta-analysis of 10 RCTs (n=359 total patients with mild to moderate PD aged 60 to 80 years) studied how yoga practices impact PD treatments.

 

The yoga treatments were implemented from eight to 12 weeks and were conducted once or twice a week (~70% were two times/week). Individual sessions lasted from 30 to 90 minutes (~70% had a 60-minute duration), and the yoga practices combined different elements such as:

Deep breathing
Relaxation techniques
Postural training
Meditation

Comparative control groups noted in the RCTs were routine care, health education, conventional balance exercise, and stretch and resistance exercises. Results indicated that compared to controls, yoga treatments significantly improved functional outcomes:

Motor status
Balance function
Functional mobility
Anxiety scale scores
Depression scale scores
 

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Michael J. Fox

“In the quest to cure Parkinson’s, we’re absolutely certain we are the tip of the spear.”

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The Parkinson's Foundation

The Parkinson’s Foundation makes life better for people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) by improving care and advancing research toward a cure. In everything we do, we build on the energy, experience and passion of our global Parkinson’s community.

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The Michael J. Fox Foundation

The Michael J. Fox Foundation is dedicated to finding a cure for Parkinson's disease through an aggressively funded research agenda and to ensuring the development of improved therapies for those living with Parkinson's today.

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The Caretology Foundation 

We care deeply about the community and have taken leadership roles in community collaboration and student growth and development to build the capacity of local nonprofits and communities and support the next generation of student innovators. 

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