Slowing Parkinson’s Progression [parkinson’s disease physical exercise]

Important!
Please note that the effect of these interventions is still under research. Do NOT take any medication without a prescription of a registered doctor.
The medications we have for Parkinson’s disease are very effective in controlling the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. But wouldn’t it be great to have some intervention that would slow the progression of Parkinson’s disease?

The process of slowing down Parkinson’s disease by preventing further death of Dopamine-producing cells is called “Neuroprotection”. There are no approved medications for neuroprotection. However, there are many candidate drugs and many things you can try to slow down Parkinson’s disease.

1. Stay Active:

Multiple studies have demonstrated that moderate levels of physical activity reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease. The largest such study is a Swedish study that studied more than 43,000 patients over 12 years! (Yang 2015). Physical activity can improve many of the movement problems caused by Parkinson’s disease, especially balance (Dibble 2009). Also, physical activity can improve many other non-movement symptoms related to Parkinson’s disease, such as Thinking & Memory! (Tanaka 2008).

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Exercise slows down the progression of Parkinson’s disease.

Although only a few studies have been listed here for reference, the evidence in support of exercise having a beneficial effect is extremely robust. Many prominent publications have highlighted physical activity as being an essential component of treatment in early Parkinson’s disease (Ahlskog 2011). Consider reading this article by Dr. Ahlskog in detail: Click here: Vigorous physical exercise may be neuroprotective (Alshkog 2011)

Now that, hopefully, I have convinced you that physical exercise can benefit you tremendously, the next question is – what kind of exercise? I recommend that you exercise in two ways:

  1. Aerobic exercise – Walk for 30 minutes everyday. If possible, walk for 30-40 minutes every day and make it brisk. Vigorous exercise – or aerobic physical activity for 20-30 minutes that increases the heart rate and the need for oxygen – is thought to be more protective than light exercise.
    Therefore, brisk walking or a jog might be better than leisurely walking – Although both are infinitely more beneficial than doing nothing.Brisk walking is better for your health than walking slowly. 
  2. Balance training – This is best learnt from a Physical therapist. Patients with Parkinson’s disease are at high risk for falls. They can fall because their feet get “stuck” to the ground. Also, Parkinson’s disease patients can fall because the normal postural reflexes that prevent falling are impaired. Balance training is a set of exercises that can help you maintain a better balance.
    Screenshot 20200305 150737 01
    Yoga can improve your balance & prevent falls.

    I will post a small video on balance training soon, but until that time you can meet your neighborhood physiotherapist to learn these exercises or follow the exercises posted on Mayo clinic’s website (click here) You may want to explore Yoga or Tai-Chi, many of the Yoga exercises emphasize balance. Remember: Only do the exercises you feel safe doing.

Relevant studies:

  1. Physical exercise reduces risk of Parkinson’s disease (Yang 2015)
  2. Exercise improves balance in Parkinson’s disease patients (Dibble 2009).
  3. Exercise improves thinking in Parkinson’s disease patients (Tanaka 2008).
  4. Vigorous physical exercise may be neuroprotective (Alshkog 2011)
  5. Balance exercises : Mayo Clinic website.

2. Prevent Injuries:

This one should be obvious. All measures should be taken to prevent Parkinson’s disease patients from falling down and breaking bones.

Using a cane can prevent falls.
Using a cane can prevent falls.

When it is hot outside, you wear a cap. When the ground is rough, you wear shoes. So if you are unsteady, you should use a cane, preferably one with multiple legs (picture below). There is no shame in using a cane, it should be as natural as wearing a cap in the hot sun.

Physical exercise & balance training (see above) can help a lot in preventing falls.

Patients with Parkinson’s disease should have their Vitamin D levels monitored. If they are at high risk for falls, the doctor will do a Bone density or DEXA test – these topics are covered in another article.

 

Caution: This information is not a substitute for professional care. Do not change your medications/treatment without your doctor's permission.
Dr. Siddharth Kharkar

Dr. Siddharth Kharkar

Dr. Siddharth Kharkar has been recognized as one of the best neurologists in Mumbai by Outlook India magazine and India today Magazine. He is a board certified (American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology certified) Neurologist.

Dr. Siddharth Kharkar is a Epilepsy specialist in Mumbai & Parkinson's specialist in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.

He has trained in the best institutions in India, US and UK including KEM hospital in Mumbai, Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, University of California at San Francisco (UCSF), USA & Kings College in London.

Call 022-4897-1800

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NeuroPlus Epilepsy & Parkinson's Clinic - Dr. Kharkar IconNeuroPlus Epilepsy & Parkinson's Clinic - Dr. Kharkar

near LIC, Dr Balabhai Nanavati hospital, near LIC, Swami Vivekananda Road, LIC Colony, Vile Parle

4.6 87 reviews

  • Avatar Paras Prabhu ★★★★★ 6 months ago
    Out patient is epileptic from about 10 years and her seizure gotten worse during the past year with the frequency of about 3-4 times a week.So we consulted … More Dr. Kharkar. He tried a few medicines, and within 1.5-2 months now the patient is feeling very well now. There are no seizures for 14 days currently.Dr. tried to keep medicines as minimum as possible. He also tried to keep the cost of the treatment minimum.When some of the medicines started showing side-effects, he was quick to switch the medicines to the better options.Overall I think we are getting a best of the available treatments. We thank you very much Dr. Kharkar.
  • Avatar Dr Shobha Sankhe ★★★★★ a month ago
    Dr Kharkar is gem of a doctor with tremendous patience, empathy, genuine concern for his patients .He guides them very methodically & scientifically … More for their neurological ill healthOur epilepsy patient is extremely happy with his treatment , Patient feels better by just visiting him too!May his selfless service to humanity flourish to reach all the needy patients!!
  • Avatar shrruti khanna ★★★★★ a month ago
    I consulted Dr Sidharth for my sister who has become very hyper and aggressive and we could not understand the issue. Keeping in mind she is someone with … More special needs Dr Sidharth was extremely understanding of the situation and did not put her through unnecessary investigation and avoided a very long stay at the hospital. He was infact more keen on her returning home to her natural environment. We highly appreciate Dr Sidharth for his effort and for looking into the matter with utmost care. It was a very difficult decision for my family to get my sister admitted but we are glad we did it under his care.Thankyou Doc.
  • Avatar Prashant Purohit ★★★★★ a month ago
    my name is prashant purohit. I m become completely bed ridden from last 9 months and was unable to walk. I couldnt find out the cause even after visiting … More many doctors and many hospital in Ahmedabad nd jodhpur.started losing hope. A good friend of mine suggested to visit a neurologist. After searching a lot, I came to know about Dr. Siddharth Kharkar and took his appointment in Nanavati Hospital. He examined and said that he suffered from \u201cPKD(PAROXYSMAL KNESIGENIC DYSKNESIA\u201c. He assured us to reverse this in 5 days time. And indeed this happened. I started recovering miraculously. today I am fully well fit I m walking as normal . Many Many thanks to Dr. Siddharth Kharkhar sir for giving me a new life.
  • Avatar Sanjay Pradhan ★★★★★ 7 months ago
    Dr. Kharkar is truly exceptional. He is extremely knowledgeable. But simultaneously, he is extremely patient and kind - taking the time and care to respond … More to all the questions. It is rare to come across a doctor who is not in a hurry to get on to the next patient, but instead, focuses on the one in front with full attention, expertise and compassion. A great experience.
  • Avatar N N ★★★★★ 8 months ago
    We visited Dr. Kharkhar for treatment regarding my mum - who is a multi-stroke patient and has aphasia. Certain medications were creating complications … More with her condition and Dr. Kharkhar was able to help mitigate the issue. We found him and his approach to be incredibly compassionate, considerate, individualized and patient-friendly. He advice is astute, up-to-date and empathetic. His treatment always comes from a deeply human place and is about seeing how to help the patient and their caregivers feel more at ease. Something that is quite rare and refreshing within the medical community.We feel that he genuinely cares about the patients that he is treating and is always kind and respectful in his communication. Moreover, his admin team is very efficient and prompt and it's a pleasure to deal with them.Would highly recommend Dr Kharkhar himself - though we must say our experience with Nanavati hospital itself has been less than ideal.Hope this helps.
  • Avatar Manish Ranjan ★★★★★ 8 months ago
    I have been visiting Dr Kharkar for treatment of my father. He is a very friendly doctor. He listens to our concerns with lot of patience. He also explains … More the issue in much greater details. He has really been of great help. My father is much better now.
  • Avatar Pinakin Shah ★★★★★ 6 months ago
    One of the best Dr. Gives complete attention and time to listen to patient's history, issues. Explains various options of treatment with pros and … More cons.
  • Avatar Lawrence Castellino ★★★★★ 8 months ago
    Exceptional experience with an expert,Dr. Kharkar is a knowledge house. It is rare nowadays to find doctors with patience, knowledge, and a flair for … More handling patient’s questions, besides Dr. Kharkar’s bedside manners are exemplary. I am privileged to be treated by such an amazing soul. I have told him and will repeat it here that “I am advancing my move back to India although I am a US Citizen, because I know I am in good hands and will be well taken care of. Thanks Dr. Kharkar for your selfless service!
  • Avatar Hemant Kansara ★★★★★ 10 months ago
    Great doctor!! Really appreciate.The doctor diagnosed to my sister correctly and start treatment, she has good improvement after taking medicine prescribed … More by doctor as no epilepsy attake. We have good experience with the doctor. Thank you

1 thought on “Slowing Parkinson’s Progression [parkinson’s disease physical exercise]”

  1. “Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging on websites I stumbleupon on a daily basis. It will always be useful to read through content from other authors and practice a little something from their web sites.”

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