American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting

American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting

March 04, 2020
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Boxing, pingpong offer benefits to patients with Parkinson’s disease

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Patients with Parkinson’s disease performed better on several disease assessment scores after boxing and playing pingpong, according to findings that will be presented at the upcoming American Academy of Neurology annual meeting.

In the first study, Danielle Larson, MD, a neurology fellow at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and colleagues analyzed surveys from 1,709 participants (mean age, 69 years; 59% men; 96% white) of Rock Steady Boxing — a 90-minute noncontact program focuses on agility, balance and speed training, according to researchers.

Larson and colleagues found that the participants had better Parkinson’s Disease Questionnaire-39 scores (25 vs. 32; P < .01) and better Self Efficacy for Exercise scores (54 vs. 48; P < .01) than nonparticipants. Also, 70% of participants reported improvement in their social life; 63% felt less fatigued; 62% had fewer concerns about falling; 60% had fewer feelings of depression; and 59% had fewer feelings of anxiety.

“The outcome of this specific regimen seems particularly favorable for the majority of people,” Larson said in a press release.

Larson D, et al. Rock Steady Boxing (RSB) participants with Parkinson’s disease have better quality of life and lower burden of non-motor symptoms than non-participants. Presented at: American Academy of Neurology annual meeting; April 25-May 1, 2020; Toronto.

In the second study, Ken-ichi Inoue, MD, of Fukuoka University in Japan, and colleagues conducted a 6-month prospective trial to see how pingpong improved the motor and nonmotor skills of patients with Parkinson’s disease. Twelve patients, whose average age was 73 years, played pingpong for 5 hours once a week for 6 months.

Researchers found that MDS Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale part II and part III scores improved at 3 months (P < .001 and P = .002, respectively) and at 6 months (P < .001 and P <.001, respectively). However, the patients’ scores on a battery of other tests — the MDS-Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale parts I and IV, the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, the Frontal Assessment Battery, the Self-Rating Depression Scale and the Apathy Scale — did not change.

“While this study is small, the results are encouraging because they show pingpong, a relatively inexpensive form of therapy, may improve some symptoms of Parkinson’s disease,” Inoue said in a press release. “A much larger study is now being planned to confirm these findings.” – by Janel Miller

References:

Inoue K, et al. Table tennis exercise for patients with Parkinson disease: A prospective pilot study. Presented at: American Academy of Neurology annual meeting; April 25-May 1, 2020; Toronto.

Larson D, et al. Rock Steady Boxing (RSB) participants with Parkinson’s disease have better quality of life and lower burden of non-motor symptoms than non-participants. Presented at: American Academy of Neurology annual meeting; April 25-May 1, 2020; Toronto.

Disclosures: Healio Primary Care could not confirm relevant financial disclosures at the time of publication.