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HHS HealthBeat (January 15, 2013)

Active with Parkinson’s

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Parkinson’s Disease

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

Researchers say being physically active may benefit the brains as well as the bodies of patients with Parkinson’s disease. At the Cleveland Clinic, Jay Alberts examined brain scan data on 26 patients with the brain disease, which causes shaking and problems with coordination.

The patients used stationary bikes for eight weeks. Those who biked faster showed greater connectivity between parts of the brain responsible for sensing and controlling movement.

“If they are performing the exercise at a relatively high rate, then we seem to see greater benefits.”

Alberts says some patients reported some improvement in their symptoms.

The study presented at a meeting of the Radiological Society of North America was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: January 17, 2013