Parkinson's Disease Treatment

Lifestyle Changes and Support Groups

Lifestyle changes are an important part of any treatment for Parkinson's disease. This includes exercise and diet. Support groups also can be helpful.
Because movements are affected in Parkinson's disease, exercising may help people improve their mobility. Some healthcare providers prescribe physical therapy or muscle-strengthening exercises as a part of Parkinson's disease treatment. This is intended to tone muscles and to put underused and rigid muscles through a full range of motion. Exercises will not stop Parkinson's disease from progressing, but they may improve body strength so that the person is less disabled.
Exercises also improve balance, helping people overcome gait problems, and can strengthen certain muscles so that people can speak and swallow better. Physical activity can also improve the emotional well-being of people with Parkinson's by giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
Although structured exercise programs help many people, more general physical activity is also beneficial. Some examples include:
  • Walking
  • Gardening
  • Swimming
  • Calisthenics
  • Using exercise machines.
Eating a well-balanced, nutritious diet can be beneficial for anybody. However, to prevent or cure Parkinson's disease, there does not seem to be any specific vitamin, mineral, or other nutrient that has any therapeutic value for Parkinson's disease treatment. In fact, a high-protein diet may limit the effectiveness of levodopa.
Despite some early optimism, recent studies have shown that tocopherol (a form of vitamin E) does not delay Parkinson's disease. This conclusion came after a carefully conducted, five-year study that examined the effects of both selegiline and vitamin E on early symptoms of Parkinson's disease. While selegiline was found to slow down the early progression of the disease and delay the need for levodopa, there was no evidence of any therapeutic benefit from vitamin E.
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Parkinson's Disease Information

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