Exercise and Parkinson's: benefits for cognition and quality of life

Acta Neurol Scand. 2011 Jan;123(1):13-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0404.2010.01338.x.


Objectives: The benefits of physical exercise for psychological aspects of quality of life (QoL) are well established in normally ageing adults, yet potential benefits for people with Parkinson's disease (PD) have received limited attention. This study evaluated the benefits of exercise for cognitive functioning, mood and disease-specific QoL for people with PD.

Methods: Twenty-eight individuals with PD were allocated to an exercise intervention program (EIP, n = 15) or control group (n = 13). The EIP group undertook a programme of progressive anabolic and aerobic exercise twice weekly for 12 weeks. The control group maintained their usual lifestyle.

Results: Exercise was shown to have selective benefits for cognitive functioning by improving frontal lobe based executive function. No significant effects were demonstrated for mood or disease-specific QoL.

Conclusions: These results are consistent with previous research demonstrating selective benefits of exercise for executive function among normal ageing adults and PD.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Aged
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Parkinson Disease* / physiopathology
  • Parkinson Disease* / psychology
  • Parkinson Disease* / rehabilitation
  • Quality of Life*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome