UIC Logo Usually, individuals suffering from Parkinson’s disease encounter symptoms like tremor and muscle rigidity. Scientists at the University of Illinois in Chicago have asserted that weight training may help in alleviating the effects of Parkinson’s disease, while also improving general health of patients.

The initial study conducted by the team showed that weight training for a span of 2 years could improve motor skills of patients suffering from Parkinson’s, as compared to other exercises like balancing and stretching. The latter did not seem to improve the symptoms after a period of 6 months.

Another trial to affirm the aforesaid effects is underway. In the study, persons suffering from Parkinson’s disease will be divided into 3 groups. While the first group will prolong their current activities, the second set will engage in endurance exercises. Lastly, the third group will be exposed to vigorous workout sessions.

“Our first aim is just to test the feasibility of whether they can exercise at both the moderate and high dose (rates). Then we’ll ask, does exercise at one or the other dose modify symptoms of the disease?” commented Daniel Corcos, Professor of kinesiology and nutrition at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

The investigators believed that patients who consume medicines like levodopa experience improvement in their conditions at an initial stage. However, by the conclusion of 5 years or a decade, the benefits are lost. The subjects to be enrolled in this analysis will not be consuming any kind of drugs.

By means of a clinical tool known as the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Ratings Scale, the team will precisely analyze the effects of physical activity on each of the 3 groups. The scores will be assigned with respect to the improvements seen in the symptoms like stiffness, abnormal postural reflexes, slow movement, and tremor.

According to the scientists, any kind of exercise that aids in reducing the dosage of medicines could be fruitful. Consequently, the response to medications may be better for the patients. This report will be presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology in April.