ONE in 100 people, usually over 60, are affected by Parkinson’s (1). The odds of winning the 540 million Mega Millions Jackpot back in March, 2012…. 175.7 million to 1 (2). The cost to guarantee winning that lottery? $176 million dollars. But wait, you would need to spend that $176 million and hope no one else plays. Now to state the obvious, there’s a greater chance for you or someone you know to develop Parkinson’s disease then to win the Mega Millions Jackpot. There’s not many people walking around with $176 million to spend on the lottery and if they did they’d have to fight it out with all of the ticket holders, but with Parkinson’s there may be a simple task that will improve quality of life.
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A small study found that weight training over 24 months improved motor control in people living with Parkinson’s more then those performing flexibility and low-intensity aerobics (3). During the first 6 months, both the weight training group and the flexibility group saw similar improvements. At 12 months, 18 and 24 the weight training group continued to see improvements while the other group returned to baseline.
Take away point: A progressive weight training should be incorporated into the exercise program of someone living with Parkinson’s. Exercise has also been associated with reducing the risk of the disease. If you need a place to start, find a qualified health professional to assist you in creating a program that will fit you.
Parkinson’s disease may have gotten a lot of publicity due in part to Michael J. Fox being a celebrity living with the disease. He has gone on to create a foundation, The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, and the rest is history. If you are reading this and you or someone you know is affected by the disease then I encourage you to visit the website and find out more information.
1) “Parkinson’s 101”. (2012). The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. Retrieved from http://www.michaeljfox.org/living_aboutParkinsons_parkinsons101.cfm#q1.
2) Baldwin, W. (2012). $500 million jackpot: calculation your odds. Forbes. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/baldwin/2012/03/29/500-million-jackpot-calculating-your-odds/.
3) Phend, C. (2012). Pumping Iron Best Exercise in Parkinson’s. MedPage Today. Retrieved from http://www.medpagetoday.com/MeetingCoverage/AANMeeting/31215
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