In a nutshell
This study investigated the effects of an 8-week high-intensity physical exercise on overall movement of patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). Researchers suggested that this type of exercise is associated with improved mobility in these patients.
PD is a chronic disorder that affects nearly 6.1 million people worldwide. This disease causes symptoms such as tremors, muscle rigidity, and impaired balance. Previous studies suggested that physical exercise for the lower part of the body such as cycling can improve muscle function and movement in patients with PD.
However, it is still not clear if a high-intensity physical exercise program can improve the outcomes of patients with PD.
Methods & findings
The objective of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of a high-intensity physical exercise program in the treatment of movement impairments in PD. This will be measured through the timed up and go (TUG) test. The TUG test measures the time that a person takes to rise from a chair, walk three meters, turn around, walk back to the chair and sit down.
This study included 59 patients with PD. They participated in an 8-week high-intensity physical exercise program. This was done 3 times per week. These patients were assigned to a forced exercise group (increased intensity bicycle program) or to a voluntary exercise group (patients’ own pace). Participants were assessed before and after the exercise program.
Before starting the treatment, the voluntary group completed the TUG test in 9.41 seconds. The forced group completed it in 8 seconds. After the physical exercise program, the voluntary group time decreased to 8.9 seconds. Both groups showed improvements in muscle function and movement.
The bottom line
This study concluded that the use of high-intensity exercise improves movement outcomes in patients with PD.
The fine print
This study included a small number of patients and a short follow-up period. Further studies are needed.
Published By :
Journal of the neurological sciences
Feb 20, 2019
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