Health Watch -- The Nervous System: Exercise and Parkinson's Disease

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


This week on Health Watch, we’ve been talking about the nervous system and some diseases and conditions that affect it. Parkinson’s disease is a disorder of the nervous system in which certain nerve cells become damaged, impairing the body’s ability to coordinate movement and other functions. Symptoms include tremors, fatigue, rigid muscles and balance difficulties.

Dr. Padraig O'Suilleabhain, a neurologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, says it’s important to keep exercising, in spite of the limitations that Parkinson’s disease may inflict. Extending your range of motion and keeping your joints limber can help prevent the development of arthritis on top of Parkinson’s disease. Shoulder rotations and hamstring stretches are good exercises to start with.

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February 2006

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