Researchers asked 237 people with early-stage Parkinson’s how often and what kind of physical activity they did, e.g. B. walking, cycling, in the household, in the garden or at work. In addition, their mental abilities were tested.
After following the patients for a number of years, the researchers found that it was not the amount of exercise at the beginning of the study that was decisive for the progression of Parkinson’s disease, but the maintenance of physical activity over time: those who could Integrating at least four hours of exercise per week into their daily routine five years later had lower impairments in walking and balance than those who were less physically active.
Body and mind benefit
The active participants also performed better in tests measuring the speed of mental processing: With more than 15.5 hours of physical activity per week, the results remained almost the same with 43 instead of 44 points, while the less active people only achieved an average of 40 points.
“Although drugs can provide some symptom relief for Parkinson’s patients, they do not slow the progression of the disease. In contrast, regular physical activity, including household chores and moderate exercise, may actually improve disease progression over the long term,” concluded Dr. Kazuto Tsukita of Kyoto University from the results, published in the journal Neurology.
Which: DOI 10.1212/WNL.0000000000013208