Lifting weights may do more than build bigger biceps. It could also improve the motor symptoms of people with Parkinson’s disease.
A recent study from the University of Illinois at Chicago found that participants who lifted weights seemed to slow the progression of their disease. They reduced motor symptoms more than a group of participants who did flexibility, balancing and strengthening exercises.
“Slowing this progression or altering the progression is really the single greatest unmet medical need in Parkinson’s,” says Cleveland Clinic researcher Jay Alberts, PhD, who did not take part in this study but whose own research has linked certain types of exercise with improved cognitive function.
To Dr. Alberts, such research shows promise for patients where other approaches have fallen short. “To date, there haven’t been any positive pharmacological interventions or surgical interventions that have been effective in slowing disease progression,” he says.