13th International Congress
13th International Congress

News Release

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Media Contact:
Elizabeth Laur, elaur@movementdisorders.org
+1 414-276-2145 (MDS Secretariat)
MDS 13th International Congress Press Room (June 7-11):
Le Palais des Congres de Paris,
Room 212/213, Level 2, Hall Maillot, TEL: +33 (0)1 40 68 63 74

Forced-Exercise Produces Results Similar to Levodopa in Treatment of Parkinson's Disease

PARIS - A recent study indicates that forced-exercise produces similar significant reductions in the symptoms of Parkinson's disease as levodopa treatment, according to research presented at The Movement Disorder Society's 13th International Congress of Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders.

It has previously been shown that long-term forced-exercise shows improvement in the symptoms of Parkinson's disease. The study, led by Anwar Ahmed, MD, and colleagues at the Cleveland Clinic, compares the results of both forced-exercise and levodopa, a common treatment for Parkinson's disease (PD). Ten patients with mild to moderate PD were examined under three random conditions; those receiving no medication, those with medication, and those with no medication and forced-exercise. The study used functional MRI activation and Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS III) motor scores to analyze the results.

Mark Hallet, MD, of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke states, "Exercise is part of a healthy life-style in general, and, if it has specific effects in PD, that is all for the better. Exercise has possible long-term benefits both in symptomatic relief and prevention of progression, but the current abstract deals with the mechanism of a short-term benefit. Using neuroimaging, the authors find a similar pattern of changes as are induced with levodopa. This is certainly interesting and may indicate that exercise, in the short term, causes dopa release. Whether this effect is relevant to more long term effects remain to be demonstrated."

Overall, the research shows similar significant reductions in functional MRI activation and therapeutic response. These results suggest that both levodopa therapy and forced-exercise provide nearly the same symptomatic relief of PD symptoms.

Meeting attendees are gathered to learn the latest research findings and state-of-the-art treatment options for Movement Disorders, including Parkinson's disease. More than 3,900 physicians and medical professionals from 90 countries will be able to view over 1,700 scientific abstracts submitted by clinicians from around the world.

The Movement Disorder Society, an international society of over 3,000 clinicians, scientists, and other healthcare professionals, is dedicated to improving patient care through education and research.

For more information about The Movement Disorder Society, visit www.movementdisorders.org