Treadmill exercise may reduce Parkinson’s symptoms

Credit: CC0 Public Domain.

In a study from RUSH University, scientists found regular treadmill exercise helped improve Parkinson’s disease symptoms in mice.

They found positive results in using regular treadmill exercise to stop the spread of the α-synuclein protein and reverse changes that occur in the brains of mice with Parkinson’s disease in the absence of any drugs.

The mice in the trial ran on a treadmill consistently in 30-minute intervals for six days a week, over the course of two months.

The findings are key in the ongoing research of Parkinson’s, but the team was quick to note that while treadmill exercise is something that can be easily available and accessible, some patients with Parkinson’s might not be able to run on a treadmill daily.

The team then worked to identify a drug that could be useful in the absence of a treadmill in order to provide a variety of options to those experiencing Parkinson’s symptoms.

Historically, available treatment for the disease is often associated with a number of side effects and unsatisfactory outcomes.

The team says once patients are diagnosed with these neurodegenerative disorders, there are no drugs available for halting the disease progression.

Understanding how the treadmill helps the brain is important to developing treadmill-associated drugs that can inhibit α-synuclein pathology, protect the brain, and stop the progression of Lewy body diseases.

The research team learned that fenofibrate, known as Triglide or Antara in the clinic, mimicked the effects of a treadmill workout in the brain.

The drug is typically used to lower high cholesterol and triglyceride in patients.

If taking fenofibrate can replicate the same effects of running on a treadmill then it would be a notable advance in the treatment of these devastating neurological disorders.

The study found that fenofibrate activated PPARα within the brain, which is a key component to the success of the treadmill exercise routine.

The team concluded that taking a low dose of fenofibrate daily slows the spread of α-synuclein in the brain and protects dopamine in mice in the absence of any treadmill workout.

The team also noted that the mice who benefited from this study already had the PPARa protein that is associated with Parkinson’s.

The team is hopeful that these new findings will be used as a way to mitigate and improve Parkinson’s symptoms as well as be used as a preventive measure.

If you care about Parkinson’s disease, please read studies about a new early sign of Parkinson’s disease, and scientists find a new way to treat Parkinson’s disease.

For more information about Parkinson’s disease, please see recent studies that berries may prevent and reverse Parkinson’s disease, and results showing common high blood pressure drugs may prevent Parkinson’s and dementia.

The study was conducted by Kalipada Pahan et al and published in Cell Reports.

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