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Intense exercise may slow Parkinson's disease

  • 2 Min To Read
  • 9 months ago

A recent study has suggested that intense and rigorous exercise may have a positive impact on the progression of Parkinson's disease. Parkinson's disease, which affects almost 90,000 people in the United States each year, is the second most common neurodegenerative condition globally. Currently, there is no cure for this disease.

The study, conducted by a group of international researchers, aimed to explore non-pharmaceutical approaches to managing symptoms and treating Parkinson's disease. The researchers found that a rigorous exercise program could potentially slow down the progression of the disease, offering hope for alternative treatment options.

The researchers from the Faculty of Medicine of the Catholic University in Rome, Italy, published their findings in the journal Science Advances. Through their study on rats, they discovered that intensive exercise reduced both motor and cognitive symptoms associated with Parkinson's disease. This research also shed light on the mechanisms through which exercise may provide these benefits.

Previous studies have also highlighted the positive effects of exercise on Parkinson's disease. However, the underlying neurobiological explanation of these benefits has remained unclear. This study aimed to bridge that gap in knowledge by using rat modeling to understand how exercise affects the brain changes associated with Parkinson's disease.

The researchers found that exercise led to a reduction in the accumulation of alpha-synuclein, a protein that forms clumps called aggregates in the brains of individuals with Parkinson's disease. These aggregates are believed to damage the neurons responsible for transmitting signals throughout the body. By reducing the accumulation of these aggregates, exercise may slow down the progression of the disease and alleviate symptoms.

Although the study involved intensive exercise for approximately four weeks, the lead researcher, Paolo Calabresi, believes that consistent exercise may not always be necessary. The positive effects of exercise on synaptic plasticity, the ability of neurons to change and adapt, seemed to last for at least a week after the interruption of exercise. However, longer periods of inactivity could potentially diminish the benefits of exercise.

While exercise is not a cure for Parkinson's disease and does not address all symptoms, it can be a valuable tool in managing the condition. Together with medications, exercise is recommended by clinicians as part of a multifaceted approach to controlling symptoms and slowing down disease progression.

In conclusion, this study provides evidence for the potential benefits of intense exercise in reducing symptoms and slowing the progression of Parkinson's disease. While further research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms behind these effects, exercise is regarded as a valuable component of the treatment and management of Parkinson's disease.

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