Exercise sustains motor function in Parkinson's disease: Evidence from 109 randomized controlled trials on over 4,600 patients

Author: Meiqi Zhang1,2, Fang Li3, Dongyu Wang4, Xiaohong Ba3, Zhan Liu1
1 Department of Physical Education and Health Education, Springfield College, Springfield, MA, United States.
2 Yale/VA Learning-Based Recovery Center, Yale University, New Haven, CT, United States.
3 Department of Neurology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Jinzhou Medical University, Jinzhou, Liaoning, China.
4 Department of Neurology, The Center Hospital of Jinzhou, Jinzhou, Liaoning, China.
Conference/Journal: Front Aging Neurosci
Date published: 2023 Feb 14
Other: Volume ID: 15 , Pages: 1071803 , Special Notes: doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2023.1071803. , Word Count: 212

Physical exercise has been widely identified as a supplementary therapy for Parkinson's disease (PD). Evaluating changes in motor function over long-term periods of exercise and comparing efficacy of various exercise types will enable a better understanding of the effects of exercise on PD. In the current study, a total of 109 studies that covered 14 types of exercise were included in the analyses, enrolling 4,631 PD patients. The results of meta-regression revealed that chronic exercise delays the progression of PD motor symptoms, mobility, and balance decline deterioration, whereas for the non-exercise PD groups, motor function progressively decline. Results from network meta-analyses suggest that dancing is the optimal exercise for general motor symptoms of PD. Furthermore, Nordic walking is the most efficient exercise to mobility and balance performance. The results from network meta-analyses also suggest that Qigong may have specific benefit in improving hand function. The findings of the current study provide further evidence that chronic exercise preserves the progression of motor function decline in PD and suggest that dancing, yoga, multimodal training, Nordic walking, aquatic training, exercise gaming, and Qigong are effective PD exercises.

Systematic review registration:
https://www.crd.york.ac.uk/prospero/display_record.php?RecordID=276264, identifier: CRD42021276264.

Keywords: Parkinson's disease; balance; exercise; manual dexterity; mobility; motor dysfunction.

PMID: 36865410 PMCID: PMC9971593 DOI: 10.3389/fnagi.2023.1071803