Exercise therapy for Parkinson’s disease

Does exercise alone improve symptoms of Parkinson's disease?

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive neurological disease caused by the reduction in dopaminergic neurons in the in the brain, leading to both motor and non-motor symptoms. Common motor symptoms include: tremor, balance deficits and postural instability. Non-motor symptoms are for instance cognitive deficits, autonomic dysfunction, pain and fatigue, as well as sleep and mood disturbances.

Medical management of PD often involves medication, such as Levodopa. Long-term use of medication can have a ceiling effect. Other medical management such as deep brain stimulators are sometimes used, but can limited benefits compared to the cost and associated medical risks. Thus, exercise is often used as part of treatment to address deficits with the peripheral and central nervous systems.


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