Exercise, quality of life & mobility in Parkinson's disease
Parkinson's disease (PD) is associated with a progressive decline in mobility, which predicts decreased health-related quality of life (HRQoL). An early sign of impaired mobility is decreased walking activity. Many previous studies show that supervised exercise interventions are associated with increased HRQoL and functional mobility. However, the effect of regular exercise outside of supervised interventions remains unclear. Therefore, the aim of this study was to examine the association between exercise habits, HRQoL and functional mobility.
This multicenter clinical study included people with PD who classified as regular exercisers or non-regular exercisers (more or less than 2,5 hours of exercise a week) at the start of the study. Subjects received 3 visits during 2 years to monitor their exercise habits. Changes in exercise habits were noted at each visit. Measurements included the PDQ-39 for HRQoL and the timed up and go test (TUG) for functional mobility. Maintaining regular exercise or becoming a regular exerciser after the first visit were associated with higher HRQoL and better functional mobility at each visit. Becoming a regular exerciser after the second visit (ca. 1 year after baseline) did not yield significantly better results than being a non-regular exerciser.
In conclusion, consistent exercising or starting to exercise regularly after baseline were both associated with small but significant protective effects on HRQoL and functional mobility over 2 years. The greater benefit of exercise on HRQoL in advanced PD suggests that physicians should encourage participation in all stages of PD.
> From: Rafferty et al., J Parkinsons Dis 7 (2017) 193-202. All rights reserved to IOS Press and the authors.. Click here for the online summary.