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Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects more than 1.5 million people in the U.S. and is the second most common after Alzheimer’s. Individuals most affected are between the ages of 55-75, but those younger can be diagnosed as well.
Although the exact cause of this progressive disease is not known, Parkinson’s seems to predominately affect the dopamine-producing neurons in the brain which aid in movement of the body.
A growing body of evidence suggests exercise can be beneficial in neuroplasticity and the ability of the brain to self-repair. What does this mean for people with PD?
For those with Parkinson’s disease, exercise can help to stimulate the synthesis of dopamine in the brain, and reduce symptoms such as tremors, limb rigidity, slowness of movement, balance and gait issues. Exercise may also slow disease progression. One study showed that people with PD who exercised regularly for 2.5 hours a week had a smaller decline in mobility and quality of life over two years.
If you have Parkinson’s and you think you may benefit from an exercise program, we can help you get started. Edward-Elmhurst Health & Fitness offers Parkinson’s disease-focused exercise classes to fit your schedule, needs and abilities:
For more information on the Parkinson’s disease exercise programs listed above, please contact me, Carol Teteak, fitness coordinator, at 630-646-7920 or send me an email.
In addition to exercise programs, a Parkinson’s disease support group is held every fourth Thursday of the month from 1-2:30 p.m. in the third-floor Family Lounge at Elmhurst Hospital.
Learn more about treatment for Parkinson’s disease at Edward-Elmhurst Health.
Learn more about Edward-Elmhurst Health & Fitness.
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