Wall Street Journal Article on exercise and Parkinsons

World-wide, the number of Parkinson’s patients alone is projected to double by 2030. The aging population accounts for much of the rise in movement disorders, but they are also being diagnosed in younger patients and can be inherited. Parkinson’s affects an estimated 1 million to 1.5 million people in the U.S.

New drugs are in the pipeline, and genetic research is yielding promising clues for future treatment. But the least expensive and most accessible treatment often isn’t stressed by doctors unaware of its benefits: Exercise, including dance, has been shown to lead to sharp improvements in some symptoms and may even delay progression of Parkinson’s.

Beth Hochstein, who was diagnosed with young-onset Parkinson’s in 2007 at age 36, was on medication to control tremors. In 2010, she had to give up her career as a podiatrist in Great Neck, N.Y., because of side effects from medication to control her hands during surgery.

A movement-disorder specialist she consulted early on had advised her that exercise “was the best nonmedical help I could get.”  Read More…..

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