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Exercise Slows Parkinson's Disease

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There is new evidence that physical activity can delay the decline in Parkinson's Disease patients. In a study in the Journal of Parkinson's Disease, researchers determined that people who exercised regularly had significantly slower declines and mobility over a two-year period.

Lead investigator Miriam R. Rafferty, PhD, of Northwestern University and Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, describes the main findings of the study. "We found that people with Parkinson's disease who maintained exercise 150 minutes per week had a smaller decline in quality of life and mobility over two years compared to people who did not exercise or exercised less."

Although this study did not determine which type of exercise is best, it suggests that any type of exercise done with a "dose" of at least 150 minutes per week is better than not exercising. "People with PD should feel empowered to find the type of exercise they enjoy, even those with more advanced symptoms," remarked Dr. Rafferty.

"The most important part of the study," according to Dr. Rafferty, "is that it suggests that people who are not currently achieving recommended levels of exercise could start to exercise today to lessen the declines in quality of life and mobility that can occur with this progressive disease."

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