What is Parkinson’s?
Parkinson’s is a progressive neurological condition. It’s related to the brain not producing enough of the chemical neurotransmitter dopamine. Dopamine is responsible for sending messages between nerve cells throughout the body – which affects our mood, movement, memory and focus.
While there’s currently no cure for Parkinson’s, researchers are learning more about the disease each day. They’re very hopeful to find a cure soon, with a number of promising treatments.
What are the main symptoms of Parkinson’s?
- axial stiffness
- movement slowness/disturbance
Other symptoms can include memory loss, disturbed sleep and mental health issues. These symptoms will vary between individuals and by the type of Parkinson’s diagnosis given.
Current research shows that Parkinson’s develops gradually – so it may take many months or years before symptoms become obvious enough to visit a medical professional. It’s then usually diagnosed by a clinical neurologist after a GP referral.
How to manage Parkinson’s
Research strongly suggests that 2.5 hours of exercise a week can slow the progression of Parkinson’s – helping individuals to take control of their lives and manage their symptoms.
Exercise can help to improve:
- physical symptoms such as reduced mobility and strength
- other symptoms including fatigue, reduced sleep and mental health
All exercise is good exercise
The best exercise will depend on the individual, what they enjoy and what stage they’re at with their diagnosis. There’s a lot of evidence to support the use of aerobic exercise – including walking, cycling, running, swimming, resistance and HIIT training – as well as Pilates, boxing and tai chi.
Parkinson’s rehab at APPI
Our Parkinson’s rehabilitation sessions take place in our fully equipped rehab gym, where sessions are tailored to the individual’s goals. Sessions include:
- aerobic activities
- walking drills
- cross lateral reciprocal movements
- balance work
- resistance training
- fine motor control and coordination
We’re proud to work closely with Dr Marie-Helene Marion, a consultant neurologist specialising in Parkinson’s Disease.