The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    High-intensity exercise in Parkinson’s disease

    Small improvement is reported by researchers at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

    First, the details.

    • 30 people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) diagnosed in the past 3 years with Hoehn and Yahr stage 1 or 2 (symptoms without impaired balance) were studied.
    • The were randomly assigned to high-intensity exercise, low-intensity exercise, or an education group.
    • The high-intensity group used body weight-supported treadmill training and completed 24 sessions over 8 weeks.
    • The education group attended 6 education classes over 8 weeks.
    • Low-intensity exercise was not defined in the abstract.

    And, the results.

    • There was small improvement in disease progression in all groups as measured by total and motor Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scales.
    • The high-intensity group showed increases in gait speed, step and stride length, and hip and ankle joint excursion during self-selected and fast gait.
    • The high-intensity group also had improved weight distribution during sit-to-stand tasks.
    • Improvements in gait and sit-to-stand measures were not consistently observed in low-intensity and education groups.
    • The high-intensity group showed lengthening in the cortical silent period (withdrawal of brain input to spinal nerves).

    The bottom line?
    The authors concluded that there are dose-dependent benefits of exercise, and high-intensity exercise can normalize planning, control, and execution of voluntary motor functions in early PD.”

    7/23/08 22:20 JR

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