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Posted by on Oct 13, 2019 in Parkinson's Disease | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This study investigated the effectiveness of home-based aerobic exercise (HBAE) to treat Parkinson's disease (PD) symptoms. Researchers suggested that HBAE improves wearing-off symptoms. 

Some background

Parkinson's disease (PD) affects brain cells. The abilities controlled by these cells are lost causing symptoms such as tremors and muscle weakness. The standard treatment for PD is levodopa. However, this therapy is associated with long-term side effects such as wearing-off symptoms. This happens when PD symptoms come back before the next dose of levodopa

Aerobic exercise consists of high-intensity physical exercise that increases heart and lung function. Prior studies showed that this type of exercise improved movement symptoms in patients with PD. It is challenging for patients with Parkinson to stick to exercise programs for long periods. Therefore, a gaming HBAE program might help these patients to adhere and engage more with the program. 

Methods & findings

This study included information about 130 patients with PD under levodopa treatment. These patients were assigned to receive HBAE (65) or home-based stretching program (65; control group). Sessions were 30 to 45 minutes long, 3 times per week for 6 months. 5 patients were lost to follow-up and 20 did not complete the assigned program. 

HBAE was associated with improved wearing-off symptoms when compared to the stretching group. Patients in the HBAE group also had improved physical functioning compared to a decreased functioning in the control group. 11% of patients had side effects associated with HBAE compared to 6% in the stretching group. These included joint or back pain or palpitations. 

The bottom line

This study concluded that HBAE is associated with improved wearing-off symptoms in patients with Parkinson's disease. 

The fine print

This study had a small number of patients. A significant amount of participants did not complete the study period. This might have affected the results. Also, the participants included had early PD. 

Published By :

The Lancet. Neurology

Date :

Sep 11, 2019

Original Title :

Effectiveness of home-based and remotely supervised aerobic exercise in Parkinson’s disease: a double-blind, randomised controlled trial.

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