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All Kinds of Exercise May Be Good for Parkinson's

Testing Exercise in Parkinson's Disease continued...

In another surprise, better performance on the six-minute walking test didn’t translate to improvements in daily functioning at home or to less disability overall. Study researchers say they aren’t sure why people didn’t feel more of a difference in their daily lives, though they note that the tests they used might not have been able to capture the improvements.

“This data suggests that a combination of different types of exercise -- treadmill training and resistance training -- may achieve the greatest benefits,” says researcher Lisa Shulman, MD, professor of neurology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore.

Dorsey says he’s seen exercise work wonders for his own patients.

“I have patients who are probably more active now than they ever were before they were diagnosed,” he says. “And some of my patients look all for the world like they don’t have Parkinson’s disease. So this is really something that people can develop and own, and gain better control of a bad disease.”

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