Exercise – It’s as Important as Your Prescriptions!

Per an article in today’s New York Times, a group of researchers from different institutions around the country recently concluded a clinical study with 128 subjects who had been newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD) within the last 5 years. These subjects were split into 3 different groups – one group did not exercise at all, one group exercised moderately, and one group exercised more intensely. The first two groups showed an increase in their PD symptoms after 6 months while the group who exercised intensely showed no increase in PD symptoms.

These positive results are very similar to research that has been done with PD subjects who have undergone a “Forced Exercise” regimen on either a tandem bicycle or a motorized stationary exercise machine. “Forced Exercise” is defined as riding a bicycle at a higher cadence (80–90 RPM’s) for a longer duration than a person with PD can do on their own. Functional MRI’s of these subjects after a “Forced Exercise” regimen have shown actual changes in brain function and improvement in their PD symptoms.

If a person with PD has the requisite strength and endurance to participate in an intensive exercise program, by all means they should be advised to do so. However, if they are not able to maintain such a program, following a “Forced Exercise” regimen on a motorized exercise bicycle may be able to replicate these same promising results.

Read the complete New York Times article »

Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro and other Parkinson’s Summits to Conquer

One of the blogs on our blogroll is “About Parkinson’s Disease” — an online destination we stop by from time to time. Operated by Robert Rodgers, Ph.D –who launched Road to Recovery from Parkinsons Disease back in 2005, this blog highlights five years of continuous interviews with people who have Parkinson’s Disease and which reveal there are many therapies that help people reverse symptoms.

Robert was inspired in his mission by the experience of his own mother who lost her battle with Parkinson’s in 1998.  Since then Robert is on a daily path to search for natural therapies that are safe and cause no harmful side effects. As he puts it: “I hold the belief that the body knows how to heal itself. It just needs a little help remembering how.”

While I highly recommend you check out Robert’s book “Road to Recovery From Parkinson’s Disease”, and read the variety of posts on his excellent About Parkinson’s Disease blog, one of his many interviews with PD people stands out for me….

Nan Little’s 2011 description of the adventure she and her husband experienced climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro with a group including climbers with Parkinson’s disease and others with multiple sclerosis inspired us to republish it here on our blog.

Many have written about their path through Parkinson’s– Nan Little’s led to the summit of the tallest mountain in Africa and her encouraging words:
“You don’t have to climb Kilimanjaro to be empowered…you can just get on a bike to experience freedom from some symptoms.”

Here from Robert Rogers’ blog is  Nan Little’s memoir of her inspiring trip to the summit and beyond…

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