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Parkinson’s disease: Three ‘safe’ exercises to reduce risk and improve symptoms

Lorraine: Billy Connolly on living with Parkinson’s disease

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People with the condition can experience a range of different symptoms. Men are slightly more likely to get Parkinson’s disease than women, and most people with Parkinson’s start to develop symptoms when they’re over 50. There are several symptoms and signs to look out for, as well as a number of ways to reduce your risk and improve symptoms.

Many studies have shown that exercise can have a positive impact on Parkinson’s patients.

One study published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine says that “physical activity has a positive impact on the prevention and treatment of Parkinson’s disease”.

It describes beneficial forms of physical activity, which include running, dancing, traditional Chinese martial arts, yoga, and weight training.

Yoga provides improvements in motor functions, mobility, balance, flexibility, and strength in upper and lower limbs, which can help reduce the fear of falls in Parkinson’s patients.

The study says the different forms of physical activity alleviate the symptoms through reducing the accumulation of α-syn protein, inflammation, and oxidative stress.

It concludes: “As a safe treatment, physical activity could relieve the symptoms in Parkinson’s disease patients, such as motor dysfunction, cognitive deficits, and depression.

“Different forms of physical activity, especially the moderate to vigorous physical exercise, have a positive impact on PD through multiple mechanisms.

”Studies have found that physical activity treatment could also improve nonmotor functions in patients, and resistance training and other types of physical activity could improve sleep quality.

Indeed, doing 2.5 hours of exercise a week can slow the progression of your symptoms, according to Parkinson’s UK.

Exercise can help you manage physical symptoms and other symptoms such as sleep problems, fatigue, mood and mental health, the charity says.

It adds: “Exercise can be as important as your medication to help you take control and manage your symptoms.”

Although there is currently no cure for Parkinson’s disease, early diagnosis is important so that patients can receive the proper treatment and advice regarding care.

“Many people with Parkinson’s note that prior to experiencing stiffness and tremor, they had sleep problems, constipation, decreased ability to smell, and restless legs,” according to the National Institute on Ageing.

The NHS states that there are three main symptoms of the condition.

They are involuntary shaking of particular parts of the body, slow movement and stiff and inflexible muscles.

You should see a GP if you’re concerned that you may have symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

Other psychological symptoms of the disease, notably memory difficulties, are thought to result from deterioration of the brain chemicals.

Neurons that produce dopamine help relay messages between areas of the brain that control body movement.

Studies have shown that changes in the chemical imbalances in the brain may occur about 15 to 20 years before symptoms start to present.

These changes in the brain may offer clues as to when symptoms may appear.

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