The Parkinson Alliance Reports Findings Pertaining to Exercise in Parkinson


Results from the Patient’s Perspective are Key to Further Understanding Best Treatment Plan

KINGSTON, N.J., April 15, 2015/ -- The Parkinson Alliance (PA) completed their 18th survey based research,  entitled Exercise in Parkinson’s Disease With and Without DBS:  A Closer Look from the Patient’s Perspective, to investigate the experience of and perception about exercise from the “patient’s perspective.”  Study included 1,500 participants with Parkinson’s disease (PD); 394 participants who underwent Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) and 1,106 individuals without DBS.  Results revealed that while most people with PD believe that exercise is important, barriers limit participation.  Based on the data gathered, report includes general recommendations.

87% of the participants reported that exercise is “quite a bit” to “extremely” important.  The top five “major” reasons to exercise reported by participants in this survey included: improving health, slowing the progress of PD, maintaining independence, increasing fitness level, and increasing energy level.  The top five perceived barriers to exercise participation included fatigue, health problems related to PD, health problems not related to PD, pain when exercising, and fear of falling/getting hurt.  Fortunately, treatment providers are commonly discussing exercise with their patients.  84% of the participants reported that a Movement Disorder Specialist (MDS) recommended that they exercise.  66% of the participants reported that an MDS has recommended Physical Therapy and 62% reported that they have participated in Physical Therapy.

“This research highlights the patient’s perspective about exercise across age and disease duration cohorts.  There are significant implications for one’s physical and mental health when individuals engage in – or do not engage in – exercise,” said Jeffrey Wertheimer, Ph.D., ABPP-CN, clinical neuropsychologist and Chief Research Consultant for The Parkinson Alliance.  “There are many types of exercise that have been shown to be beneficial for individuals with PD, including walking, cycling, strengthening and balance exercises, dance, and tai chi.  A key element to establishing exercise routines is finding exercises that are enjoyable.  The survey report conveys important practical recommendations related to exercising and overcoming barriers to exercise,”  Wertheimer added.

Study results can be found on

About The Parkinson Alliance
The Parkinson Alliance is a national non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds for Parkinson’s research and improving the quality of life in the DBS community.  After undergoing bi-lateral DBS in 2000, Margaret Tuchman, President of PA, founded to keep the community informed.

Aurore Duboille
DBS Survey Research Coordinator

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