Aerobic Exercise Positively Alters Parkinson’s Brain

Getting regular exercise is essential to managing Parkinson’s disease (PD). It is well established that exercise promotes aerobic conditioning, strength, balance, flexibility and mobility, which can substantially improve overall quality of life.

Multiple clinical trials have demonstrated that aerobic exercisein particular, can enhance cognitive functioning, such as learning, thinking, remembering and problem solving. Further, a 2019 PD clinical trial called Park-in-Shape, investigating the effectiveness of remotely supervised aerobic exercise (using a stationary bike) resulted in a reduction of PD movement symptoms.

We know brain heath and cardiovascular fitness are connected. What we don’t know is how and where in the brain aerobic exercise is enhancing cognitive functions and reducing motor symptoms for people with PD.

A study recently published in the Annals of Neurology, “Aerobic exercise alters brain function and structure in Parkinson’s disease: A randomized controlled trial” (Johansson et al., 2022) investigated how aerobic exercise may influence PD-related functional and structural changes in the brain. The study also explored the effects of aerobic exercise on the substantia nigra, which helps the brain produce with dopamine. Movement disorders specialist Bastiaan R. Bloem, MD, PhD, from Nijmegen Parkinson Center — a Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence ­— is one…

Parkinson’s Foundation. (2022, June 28). Aerobic Exercise Positively Alters Parkinson’s Brain