Tribe Feed Forums 2024 Insight Does exercise attenuate disease progression in people with Parkinson’s disease? | Dr Serene Paul

  • Melissa McConaghy

    Administrator
    11/04/2024 at 8:20 am

    Many thanks to Serene for such an interesting presentation.

    For any comments or questions, please add them here so that we can forward them on to the speaker.

  • Susan Sorensen

    Member
    11/04/2024 at 10:49 am

    How does testing on a completely different species such as non- human animals progress knowledge about PD in humans regarding exercise and medications? Especially when the animals did not naturally develop PD, that they were given PD ? I am merely an attendee without any medical qualification but it seems that cruel animal testing is so outdated and is just a filler to show that researchers are ‘doing something’. I can see that the various testing and clinical studies and trials on humans with naturally developed PD as well as a control group of those without PD would obviously have much more positive and successful outcomes. It’s time to stop testing on animals because a mouse or a pig or a primate is not a man.

    • Caroline Nicholas

      Member
      11/04/2024 at 4:06 pm

      Well said.

      • Sarah473452 hozack

        Administrator
        11/04/2024 at 5:07 pm

        Thanks for your message Susan. Here is a response from Serene;

        Animal models of disease, including Parkinson’s, often provide insights into affected pathways and possible treatments, including types of exercise. While I am not arguing for or against animal models, it is worth noting that animal models often help simplify things for researchers to better understand possible mechanisms. It is definitely true that results from animal models do not always translate into humans, hence the importance of testing hypothesised effects and interventions in people with Parkinson’s disease. Some research designs will call for comparisons between people with vs without Parkinson’s disease (eg, to understand mechanisms) while other research designs will require both the experimental and control groups to have Parkinson’s disease (eg, to determine the effect of a particular type of exercise in people with Parkinson’s disease).

    • Gunilla Beard

      Member
      11/04/2024 at 5:10 pm

      I agree

  • Kerry Bacon

    Member
    11/04/2024 at 1:07 pm

    When I was first diagnosed with PD in 2016 I asked my Neurologist what could I do to help myself in the fight against PD. His answer was simple : ” Exercise regularly and take your Meds on time”. Eight years later I have less symptoms of having PD than when I was first diagnosed. I also feel less pain after exercising than what I have when I first get out of bed. Not a scientific study I know, but proof enough for me that exercise works.

    • Sarah473452 hozack

      Administrator
      11/04/2024 at 5:07 pm

      Here is a message from Serene; Thanks for sharing, that’s really wonderful to hear that you’ve seen for yourself the benefits of exercise. As researchers and clinicians we are trying to find the interventions with the best evidence to help people with Parkinson’s disease, the most important thing is that this evidence fits the client and both client and clinician can see the benefits of this application. It’s also great to hear that your neurologist recommended you to exercise.

  • John Wood

    Member
    11/04/2024 at 3:12 pm

    I was diagnosed four years ago but my PD progression has been very slow. Since then, I’ve been cycling 2 – 3 times a week and I’m fortunately able to attend DVA endorsed sessions, three times a week, with a team that includes a Psychologist, a Physiotherapist and an Exercise Physiologist.

    • Sarah473452 hozack

      Administrator
      12/04/2024 at 12:00 pm

      A response from Serene; That’s great to hear you have been benefitting from exercise. You are very fortunate to have the funding to receive such comprehensive supported intervention.

  • Vittorio Natalizio

    Member
    11/04/2024 at 4:48 pm

    Interesting presentation, I have recently joined a Parkrun group which is helping me. I walk at my own pace.

    Yes, I believe exercising is important.

    • Sarah473452 hozack

      Administrator
      12/04/2024 at 12:00 pm

      A response from Serene; Thanks for sharing that you exercise in a way that suits you, that’s a really important point. It is about finding the exercise that you enjoy and works for you.

  • Caroline Nicholas

    Member
    11/04/2024 at 4:58 pm

    I believe the idea, early in the presentation, that exercise is neuroprotective is a chicken and egg thing. It all depends on what causes the disease and we do not know this. After my diagnosis at 47, I could see that I had had some symptoms associated with the disease for many years (e.g. my left arm did not swing when I walked) and some perhaps telltale signs all my life, e.g. I was never very good at ball games or cycling as a child, lacking good co-ordination and balance. So, I was never ‘sporty’ or enjoyed exercise. I suggest that, rather than exercise being a neuroprotector against PD, those who are not going to develop the disease are simply better at sports and exercise generally and consequently enjoy it and partake in it more.

    We all know that exercise is good for health and wellbeing. It is particularly important for those with Parkinson’s because it can alleviate stiffness, improve posture and flexibility, and strengthen our core to help with stability, for example. However, our symptoms, like stiffness, poor balance, impaired gait and pain can make exercise more difficult and rule out certain options. Please stop using unnecessary animal models to research this. There are plenty of people with Parkinson’s who would be happy to help you eliminate animal suffering and give you more accurate and more meaningful results.

    • Sarah473452 hozack

      Administrator
      12/04/2024 at 12:01 pm

      A response from Serene; Neuroprotection is not an absolute yes/no, instead there seems to be degrees of neuroprotection. Evidence from large scale epidemiological studies across the general population indicate that exercise is indeed the ‘egg’ of neuroprotection, as these studies indicate that people who performed greater amounts of moderate-vigorous exercise early in life have a reduced risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.

      Finding the right type of exercise is important for each person based on individual interests, goals and symptoms, and capability. Answers about the types of exercise most suited for each disease stage can indeed only be found from research involving people with Parkinson’s disease.

      While greater symptom burden can rule out certain exercise options and/or make exercise more challenging, hopefully you can still find exercise options that suit your capabilities. Doing some exercise is definitely better than doing nothing.

  • Gunilla Beard

    Member
    11/04/2024 at 5:09 pm

    Thank you for the presentation and some level of confirmation that exercise helps although it is still inconclusive exactly what type or how much has the most impact. I’m glad you could make use of meta data from other studies, because I agree with Susan’s comment above, we don’t need more animal experiments. Animal studies don’t seem very scientifically sound and morally I don’t see why animals should be abused to potentially improve my life.

    • Sarah473452 hozack

      Administrator
      12/04/2024 at 12:51 pm

      A response from Serene; Given what we know already about exercise effects in Parkinson’s disease, I agree that trials in people with Parkinson’s disease will be more informative to answer questions about what types of exercise are best for different presentations/stages of the disease.

  • Gladys Zill

    Member
    11/04/2024 at 5:37 pm

    I am so sorry i missed today’s. I accompanied a friend of mine who has Parkinson’s to the quilt exhibition this was her first outing since a recent insertion of a deep brain stimulator, and her question to me was, when is exercise enough. I thought it was a very interesting question i guess someone will be able to give me an answer. I have read some of the feedback from various participants and did find it very informative and interesting.

    • Sarah473452 hozack

      Administrator
      12/04/2024 at 12:54 pm

      A response from Serene; Great question about when is exercise enough. The answer is ‘never’. That’s because in addition to the potential neuroprotective effects of exercise, what we know for certain is that exercise improves overall health (eg, for cardiovascular health) and helps maximise physical function, even in the presence of severe disability. So even if 2 people had identical levels of disability, we know that the one who exercises will have better function than the one who doesn’t.

  • Ken Whitson

    Member
    12/04/2024 at 3:09 am

    Thank you, very interesting. I know you need to see measurable results to say for certain but your conclusion is a good positive one backing up my belief that exercise over the past year has attenuated my symptoms.

    • Sarah473452 hozack

      Administrator
      12/04/2024 at 12:52 pm

      A response from Serene; Thanks for sharing, that’s really wonderful to hear that you’ve seen for yourself the benefits of exercise.

  • Nancy Steinle

    Member
    12/04/2024 at 4:47 am

    I was diagnosed with PD in 2022 and before my diagnosis I exercised most of my life and ran my first Marathon at the age of 65. And while I have no idea what my future holds, I believe that exercise is medicine for body and soul!! I am 78 years old and have had no noticeable increase in my symptoms in 2yrs. I exercise daily Thanks to the Parkinson’s Foundation I can exercise in my home with therapists trained to address about every area that PD affects You Tube has an amazing number of exercises to choose from Thanks Serene for your presentation

    • Sarah473452 hozack

      Administrator
      12/04/2024 at 12:52 pm

      A response from Serene; You’re welcome and thanks too for sharing your exercise history. Exercise definitely has benefits beyond the physical and can also help psychosocially.

  • Anita Klassen

    Member
    12/04/2024 at 7:43 am

    I was a distance runner and avid weight lifter before my diagnosis. My neurologist tells me that in order for exercises to really be beneficial, it needs to be intense. I am no longer coordinated enough to run and although I walk daily, it does not raise my heart rate significantly. Weight lifting still gives me periods of elevated heart rate, but it’s not continuous. I’m assuming these activities are still beneficial, but do I need to find new exercises that will be more intense for at least 30 minutes at a time?

    • Sarah473452 hozack

      Administrator
      12/04/2024 at 12:55 pm

      A response from Serene; The evidence to date does appear to indicate that more intensive exercise does have greater benefits, although as we showed, exact dosages are not currently clear. So rest assured that the current activities that you’re doing definitely still have benefit.

      Our systematic review included exercise modes such as weight training and high intensity interval training, which by their nature do not necessarily go for 30 mins and have rest intervals when heart rate will dip. So it’s not true that you need to exercise ‘intensely’ for at least 30 mins continuously to see benefits.

      For you personally, if you’d like to try to increase the intensity of your walking to increase your heart rate, you could try to sustain walking at a fast pace, or better yet try to walk up hills or if you have access to a treadmill you can add an incline. Often walking at a comfortable pace but going uphill is very effective at raising heart rate.

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