J. Eric Ahlskog, Ph.D., M.D., a neurologist at Mayo Clinic, said, “Aerobic exercise means vigorous exercise, which makes you hot, sweaty and tired.” Examples of aerobic exercise include briskly walking or using an elliptical machine.
Researchers found that exercise helps counter brain shrinkage, slow down brain aging, maintain healthy brain connections and liberates trophic factors – small proteins which act in similar fashion as fertilizer on a lawn.
Dr. Ahlskog suggests that physical therapy should incorporate more aerobic-style exercises when dealing with patients with Parkinson’s disease.
Dr. Ahlskog does stress one important point: “Be certain that you have worked with your doctor to optimize your medication, specifically carbidopa/levodopa. Once patients with Parkinson’s disease slow down, adequate carbidopa/levodopa is necessary to optimize quality of life and facilitate engagement in exercise.”
The findings were published in JAMA Neurology.