How Aerobic Exercise Slows Down Parkinson’s

It can effectively stop brain cells in patients from dying, as the disease progresses, resulting in great gain.

Parkinson’s Disease: approximately 60,000 Americans were diagnosed with the progressive illness in the last year. That’s a large crowd. The disease can start with minor tremors and gets gradually worse over time, making it difficult to move about easily. It sometimes results in dementia, in later years.

Fortunately, while the illness remains without a cure, there are some measures patients can take to slow down its progression.

Parkinson’s attacks the nervous system and affects a victim’s movement. And fighting it off can seem fruitless. As a person knows they are losing their physical abilities, it can be hard to stay motivated to move about. Exercise, however, has been found to be very beneficial.

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Why? Until now, that answer has been unknown. Now it’s clear: researchers from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus have found that getting aerobic exercise can stop the accumulation of a neuronal protein called alpha-synuclein in brain cells.

Clumps of alpha-synuclein are believed to play a central role in causing brain cells to die, when it comes to  Parkinson’s disease.

Mice with Parkinson’s symptoms that had a running wheel placed in their cage showed much better movement and brain function over time compared with those who couldn’t run.

“Our experiments show that exercise can get to the heart of the problem in Parkinson’s disease,” said research professor Curt Freed, MD. “People with Parkinson’s who exercise are likely able to keep their brain cells from dying.”

Talk to your doctor to find out what amount of aerobic exercise could be right for you.

Photo credits: artbesouro/

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