Physical Exercise Improves Mobility in Parkinson's Disease

Treadmill and resistance exercises improve gait speed, muscle strength, and fitness

TUESDAY, Nov. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Parkinson's disease patients with gait impairment see improvements in gait speed, muscle strength, and fitness after physical exercise, according to a study published online Nov. 5 in the Archives of Neurology.

Lisa M. Shulman, M.D., from the University of Maryland in Baltimore, and colleagues randomly assigned 67 patients with Parkinson's disease and gait impairment to one of three exercise programs: high-intensity treadmill exercise, low-intensity treadmill exercise, and stretching and resistance exercises -- all three times a week for three months.

The researchers found that all three programs improved distance on the six-minute walk, with a 12 percent improvement for low-intensity treadmill exercise (P = 0.001), a 9 percent improvement for stretching and resistance exercises (P < 0.02), and a 6 percent improvement for high-intensity treadmill exercise (P = 0.07). Both low- and high-intensity treadmill exercise improved peak oxygen consumption per unit time by 7 to 8 percent (P < 0.05). Only stretching and resistance exercises improved muscle strength (by 16 percent [P < 0.001]).

"Therefore, exercise can improve gait speed, muscle strength, and fitness for patients with Parkinson's disease," Shulman and colleagues conclude. "The combination of treadmill and resistance exercises may result in greater benefit and requires further investigation."

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry; one author has been a consultant on several legal cases.

Abstract
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)
Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)

Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Powered by

Featured Jobs



Benefits of Membership

FREE E-Newsletters
Sign up for our free enewsletters to stay up-to-date in your area of practice - or take a look at an archive of prior issues

CESaver
Join our CESaver program to earn up to 100 contact hours for only $34.95
Register Now

Lippincott's NursingCenter.com
Explore a world of online resources

Become a Member