Aerobic Walking Beneficial in Parkinson's Disease

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Aerobic Walking Beneficial in Parkinson's Disease
Aerobic Walking Beneficial in Parkinson's Disease

(HealthDay News) — For independently ambulatory patients with Parkinson's disease, aerobic walking is associated with improvements in aerobic fitness, motor function, fatigue, mood, and quality of life, according to a study published online July 2 in Neurology.

Ergun Y. Uc, MD, from the University of Iowa in Iowa City, and colleagues conducted a six-month randomized trial involving different aerobic walking regimens in 60 independently ambulatory patients with Parkinson's disease. All groups exercised three times per week, for 45 minutes at each session. Forty-three participants were randomized over the first two years to continuous or interval training and the remaining 17 patients were allocated to continuous training only.

The researchers found that 81% of participants completed the study, with mean attendance of 83.3%. Participants exercised at 46.8% of their heart rate reserve. No serious adverse events occurred. Improvements were observed in maximum oxygen consumption, gait speed, Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale sections I and II scores, fatigue, depression, quality of life, and flanker task scores (P<0.05 to P<0.001) across all completers. Improvements on the flanker task and quality of life were associated with increase in maximum oxygen consumption (P<0.05).

"Our preliminary study suggests that aerobic walking in a community setting is safe, well tolerated, and improves aerobic fitness, motor function, fatigue, mood, executive control, and quality of life in mild to moderate Parkinson's disease," the authors write.

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