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Foreword (Cont.)

Bastiaan Bloem's

PARKINSON'S

Cont. from Home

In fact, some of the effects of exercise equal that of a moderately effective antiparkinson drug. The evidence is strongest for the suppression of motor symptoms, such as slowness, stiffness, or tremor, but there is also a steadily increasing body of work that points to improvements in a wide range of so-called non-motor symptoms, including mood and sleep.

And what is even more exciting, there is now emerging evidence to suggest that exercise is not merely helping to alleviate disability, but it may also help to slow the otherwise relentless progression of PD. This contention is now supported by at least two large clinical trials that showed that people with PD who faithfully participate in an aerobic exercise regime at least several times per week suggest that the symptoms of PD in people progressed more slowly than in people that did not involve an aerobic workout. And, additionally, neuroimaging studies in persons with PD have shown that such aerobic workouts are accompanied by beneficial effects in the brain, including the formation of an enhanced functional connectivity between the diseased basal ganglia and the largely healthy cortex of the brain.

This imaging work is confirming what we had already seen in animals with an experimental form of parkinsonism whose brains were also modified in a beneficial way following exercise. All these findings should really encourage every individual living with PD (or a form of atypical parkinsonism, for that matter) to try to exercise to the best of their abilities.

This wonderful new book summarizes all these different scientific studies and also offers practical recommendations for every person with PD or parkinsonism who now considers starting an exercise regime.

Of course, there are multiple challenges that may interfere with one’s ability to exercise, even among those who are deeply motivated. Think about issues such as postural instability and the risk of falls, or factors such as depression or even apathy, which may reduce an individual’s motivation to participate in exercise. Fatigue is another major challenge for many persons living with PD. This book offers very practical guidance on how to deal with these issues so that one can exercise more vigorously while experiencing less fatigue afterwards.

To my mind, this book is a must-read for every person with PD who wishes to take more control over the disease by picking up exercise as a new therapy. The book is also a very useful reference for medical professionals, who should encourage the people with PD seen in their clinics to exercise more. As I’m quoted in the book, “We are now in an area where physicians should literally write a prescription for exercise in addition to prescribing more traditional medical interventions such as drugs or surgical interventions.”

Read this book if you are interested in learning more about this crucial prescription!

Bastiaan R. Bloem, PhD, MD, FRCPE

Professor of Movement Disorder Neurology

Director, Radboud Centre of Expertise for Parkinson’s & Movement Disorders

The Netherlands

This book gives instructions based on the latest scientific studies by world Parkinson's experts, the Parkinson's Exercise Recommendations, and the author's advice on making your own "PD Exercise Cocktail Plan." The many detailed chapters and appendixes will also be a resource to guide you throughout your PD journey.


Read inspiring stories of people with PD who have used exercise to reduce their symptoms and slow the progression of their disease. With Parkinson's: How to Reduce Symptoms Through Exercise, you'll discover how to use exercise as a powerful tool to help manage, stabilize, and reduce symptoms; improve your quality of life; and enhance your overall well-being. Start fighting back against PD today with this comprehensive and motivating book.

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