-- Robert Preidt
THURSDAY, Dec. 12, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- A long-term exercise program may help ease depression in people with Parkinson's disease, according to a new, small study.
Researchers looked at 31 Parkinson's patients who were randomly assigned to an "early start" group that did an exercise program for 48 weeks or a "late start" group that worked out for 24 weeks. The program included three one-hour cardiovascular and resistance training workouts a week.
Depression symptoms improved much more among the patients in the 48-week group than among those in the 24-week group. This is important because mood is often more debilitating than movement problems for Parkinson's patients, said study leader Dr. Ariane Park, a movement disorder neurologist at Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center.
The study was published online recently in the journal Parkinsonism & Related Disorders.
More than half of Parkinson's patients have depression, Park noted in a university news release.
"We recommend exercise to all of our Parkinson's patients. Currently, there is no consensus on a standardized physical exercise regimen with regard to type, frequency and intensity," Park said. "The literature supports that any routine that improves physical fitness is good for Parkinson's disease -- and that can include walking, swimming, tai chi or even dancing," she added.
"We just want patients to move on a regular basis. Not only will they move better, but they will feel better," Park explained in the news release.
Parkinson's disease, a progressive neurodegenerative disorder, affects more than one million Americans.
The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has more about Parkinson's disease.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Copyright © EBSCO Publishing. All rights reserved.