Exercise and medication effects on persons with Parkinson disease across the domains of disability: a randomized clinical trial

J Neurol Phys Ther. 2015 Apr;39(2):85-92. doi: 10.1097/NPT.0000000000000086.


Background and purpose: Hypokinesia and bradykinesia as movement deficits of Parkinson disease are thought to be mediated by both basal ganglia dysfunction and a loss of muscle mass and strength commensurate with aging and decreased levels of physical activity. For these reasons, we sought to utilize resistance training as a means to increase muscle force and minimize hypokinesia and bradykinesia in persons with Parkinson disease and examine the effects of exercise and medication on Body Structure and Function (muscle force production and muscle cross-sectional area), Activity (mobility), and Participation (Health Status) outcomes.

Methods: Forty-two participants were enrolled in a 12-week randomized clinical trial that compared 2 active exercise interventions: a standard care control group (Active Control) and an experimental group that underwent Resistance Exercise via Negative Eccentric Work (RENEW).

Results: Participants in both groups improved in muscle force production and mobility as a result of exercise and medication (P < 0.02). There were no significant interaction or between-group differences and no significant changes in muscle cross-sectional area or health status were observed. Effect sizes for exercise and medication combined exceeded the effect sizes of either intervention in isolation.

Discussion and conclusions: Taken together, these results point to the complementary effects of exercise and medication on the Body Structure and Function and Activity outcomes but little effect on Participation outcomes.Video Abstract available for more insights from the authors (see Supplemental Digital Content 1, http://links.lww.com/JNPT/A92).

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00665184.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypokinesia / drug therapy
  • Hypokinesia / etiology
  • Hypokinesia / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parkinson Disease / complications
  • Parkinson Disease / drug therapy
  • Parkinson Disease / therapy*
  • Resistance Training
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Treatment Outcome

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00665184