Parkinson’s disease refers to a neurological condition accompanied by several motor symptoms such as limb rigidity, tremors, imbalances, and loss of movement. However, several other symptoms are associated with this disease that may severely affect the quality of a person’s life.
Specifically speaking, the cognitive symptoms are the ones that particularly worry the researchers, making them more interested in understanding the pathology of the underlying condition.
People suffering from this disease suffer from a cognitive impairment that gradually worsens and may evolve into Alzheimer’s disease.
As far as managing Parkinson’s disease is concerned, the doctors often advise their patients to follow an exercise pattern since physical activity is said to improve the motor symptoms.
The Parkinson’s Foundation has declared exercise as an important component of the efforts made for maintenance of quality in the patients of Parkinsonism. But how does this exercise affect the symptoms of this disease, especially the cognitive symptoms?
The researchers of the current study set out to investigate this question. The findings of this study are present in the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease suggesting that exercise has a positive effect on various symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
Does Aerobic Exercise Improve Memory?
The researchers carrying out this study had already anticipated the results on the basis of the fact that physical activity is often connected with cognitive improvements in adults of older ages.
However, no conclusions have been made regarding the association between exercise cognitive effects in Parkinson’s disease.
Physical exercise is linked with an enhanced cognitive function in old adults however, the effects of this exercise in people suffering from Parkinsonism were not well known.
In the current review, the team investigated all the relevant randomized controlled trials that looked at the relationship between physical activity, Parkinson’s disease, and cognition.
All in all, the researchers went through the data taken from 11 studies. Over 500 participants suffering from Parkinson’s disease were analyzed and scored using the Hoehn and Yahr scale, one (being the lowest) and four (being the highest). This scale has been in use for measuring the severity with which the symptoms of a disease are progressing.
5 out of the 11 trials indicated that aerobic exercise particularly enhanced the executive function and memory of the participants. The same study also indicated that combining coordination and resistance can improve cognitive function as well.
Two other trials found that using coordination exercises can enhance the executive function in people suffering from Parkinson’s disease.
Exercise is Like Medicine
While the researchers declared aerobic exercises as a way to improve memory, the effects of specific exercises such as running vs. stationary cycling can affect the cognitive aspect and which of them can prove to be best for cognition.
In addition to this, the team also noted how the studies included in this review were not of the top quality and the future research must include better-constructed approaches.
According to the scientists, the potential of exercise for improving both motor and non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease is promising and may help reduce the progression of this disease in the affected individuals.