Last updated on June 2019

Intensive Running Exercise Improves Parkinson's Motor and Non-motor Symptoms


Brief description of study

High quality clinical trial and meta-analysis have demonstrated short term, and to a lesser extent, long term benefits in various outcome measures. To achieve positive effects, supervised progressive strength and aerobic endurance training program of 12 weeks was required. Extended progressive strength training improved muscle strength for up to 24 months. While aerobic endurance training would increase walking capacity up to 16 months. 1 There are data suggesting a threshold of intensity of exercise to be reached for the positive effect. This overall body of evidence suggests that regular vigorous exercise should be accorded a central place in the treatment of Parkinson's disease.

However, there was no evidence about regular intensive exercise of running in Parkinson's disease. And most of the studies were not randomized with a control group.

In this study, the investigators are to investigate the effect of regular vigorous aerobic exercise training of running on motor and non-motor symptoms, and quality-of-life of people with Parkinson's disease.

Detailed Study Description

There is growing volume of evidences support the positive effect of exercise and physical therapy to Parkinson's disease. Various exercise types have shown different positive effects. Gait training for 4 weeks showed a moderate improvement in balancing while balance training of 8 to 26 weeks decreased fall rate. Cued exercise would mildly increase the speed of the gait. Complementary exercises, such as Tai Chi and dancing, have shown improvement in balancing of the patients.

One of the main complaints of Parkinson's disease is rigidity. It is because of the musculoskeletal impairments which compromise the flexibility and stability of both axial structure (spine) and the extremities. Truncal stiffness and rigidity results in a stooped posture, which further undermines one's balance and agility. Flexibility training (stretching) is shown to be beneficial to all stages of patients with Parkinson's disease, in terms of improved both range of movement in joints and spinal stability. It is recommended that regular stretching should be the first step in one's exercise program to combat the muscle rigidity. High quality clinical trial and meta-analysis have demonstrated short term, and to a lesser extent, long term benefits in various outcome measures. To achieve positive effects, supervised progressive strength and aerobic endurance training program of 12 weeks was required. Extended progressive strength training improved muscle strength for up to 24 months. While aerobic endurance training would increase walking capacity up to 16 months.

There are data suggested a threshold of intensity of exercise to be reached for the positive effect. This overall body of evidence suggests that regular vigorous exercise should be accorded a central place in the treatment of Parkinson's disease.

In this study, the investigators are to investigate the effect of regular vigorous aerobic exercise training of running on motor and non-motor symptoms, and quality-of-life of people with Parkinson's disease.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT03974529

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Recruitment Status: Open


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