Lifewatch: Living with Parkinson's - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

3.07.08

Lifewatch: Living with Parkinson's

WILMINGTON -- One group of doctors is foregoing the drugs to see if sweat and hard work can make a difference for Parkinson's sufferers.

John Kendell, 61 years old, isn't an athlete, but for the last two months he has been hitting the gym regularly.

At first, his Parkinson's made it tough.

"I was stiff and my hand didn't move along my side," said Kendell. 

Further in his training he said he could stand and could think about moving his hand.

Patient Alan Sidlowski, who also has Parkinson's, has trouble with simple movements.

"I had very limited mobility in my hand and my leg," said Sidlowski.

But after seven months in the gym he has improved tremendously.

These men are part of a study aimed at finding out if exercise can do what medication often can't for patients with neurological conditions like Parkinson's.

According to researchers, strength exercises, aerobic activity, or gait practice may actually be able to retrain the brain. 

Physical and emotional improvements for each of 70 patients will be monitored for three months.

Official results are two years away but so far it seems to be working.

 

Reported by Kristy Ondo

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