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Butler Hospital: Exercise May Improve Parkinson’s Symptoms

Tuesday, November 09, 2010


A recent research study found that people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) showed marked reductions in physical symptoms and increased emotional well being after participating in a 20-week exercise program. The plan included walking, backward walking, and ball-bouncing which increased strength, flexibility, and coordination, while weight training of the legs improved walking ability and balance. The best exercises, however, are those that decrease the risk of a PD sufferer falling: water aerobics, yoga, tai chi, swimming, and riding a stationary bike.

Local Doctor on the Forefront of Research

Dr. Joseph H. Friedman, chief of the Movement Disorders Program at Butler Hospital and an international authority in PD, said that mood-associated symptoms of the disease, including depression, lethargy and exhaustion, “can actually be more debilitating to the patients and family members than the movement-related aspects of the disorder.” This month, Butler Hospital has launched a multimedia Ask the Experts campaign, where people can ask any questions they have about PD and other movement disorders by submitting questions on Butler’s Facebook page or anonymously through the hospital’s website, butler.org. All questions will be answered by Dr. Friedman and posted on the sites throughout November.

The hospital will also be featuring a series of brief educational videos that will be available on the sites and on the hospital's YouTube channel, which will cover topics from how Parkinson’s is diagnosed to innovative new treatments such as Deep Brain Stimulation, and how patients and family members can better learn to manage their lives with the disease. A free public lecture presented by Dr. Friedman, entitled Learning How to Get the Most Out of Life With Parkinson’s, will take place on November 20 from 10-11:30am at the Ray Conference Center on the Butler Campus. Following the program, the public is invited to attend an open house and tour of the new Movement Disorders Program at Butler Hospital. Register via e-mail: info@butler.org or call 455-6265.



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