Knocking Out Parkinson's

December 24, 2008 8:26:43 AM PST
According to the Parkinson's Disease Foundation, about 1 million people in the United States are living with Parkinson's. Parkinson's is a movement disorder that is chronic and progressive. Its symptoms continue and worsen over time. The cause is unknown, and there is currently no cure. However, there are treatment options such as medication and surgery. WHAT'S HAPPENING IN THE BODY? Parkinson's disease occurs when a group of cells in the area of the brain called the substantia nigra malfunction and die. These cells produce the chemical dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter, or chemical messenger, that sends information to the parts of the brain that control movement and coordination. When a person has Parkinson's, their dopamine-producing cells begin to die and the amount of dopamine produced in the brain decreases. Therefore, messages from the brain telling the body how and when to move are delivered more slowly, leaving a person incapable of controlling movements in a normal manner.

SYMPTOMS: Some common symptoms of Parkinson's disease include:

  • tremors of the hands, arms, legs, jaw and face
  • rigidity or stiffness of the limbs and trunk
  • bradykinesia or slowness of movement
  • postural instability or impaired balance and coordination
  • THE BENEFITS OF EXERCISE: Because Parkinson's disease affects a person's ability to move, many experts recommend exercise to keep muscles strong and improve flexibility and mobility. Exercise will not stop the disease from progressing, but it may improve balance and can prevent joint stiffening. Studies show exercise also protects brain neurons from ongoing damage. One Harvard study revealed exercise may also prevent Parkinson's. In the study, men who exercised at least twice a week when they were younger reduced their risk for the disease when they were older by 60 percent.

    BOXING FOR PARKINSON'S PATIENTS: Some Parkinson's patients say boxing is a good exercise choice. At Tag Team Partners in Davie, Fla., certified personal trainer Craig Marks offers an intense program for patients. Participants report improved balance and strength after sessions with Marks.

    For More Information, Contact:

    Craig Marks, CPT
    Tag Team Partners
    Davie, FL
    (954) 707-9175