DELAY THE DISEASE
About Delay the Disease
OhioHealth Delay the Disease™ is a fitness program designed to empower people with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) by targeting their symptoms and optimizing their physical function. OhioHealth Delay the Disease™ is a life-changing wellness program. It is founded on evidence-based, structured exercise routines that are focused on strength training and correcting disease-specific physical challenges. They work toward retraining the mind and body.
Parkinson’s Disease is a neurodegenerative condition that causes tremors, stiffness, slowness, behavioral disorders, sleep problems and functional decline. “Medicare data shows, in Ohio alone, more than 21,000 people are treated for Parkinson’s Disease each year, with 7,500 new cases diagnosed every year.”
The fight against Parkinson’s Disease is real. This disease robs us of our independence and ability to move. Exercise is an important part of healthy living for everyone. However, for people with PD exercise is not only healthy, but a vital component to maintaining balance, mobility and daily living activities. In fact did you know exercise could actually help slow the progression of PD?
David Zid, BA, ACE, APG, and Jackie Russell, RN, BSN, CNOR, are the founders of the Delay the Disease program. They are passionate about the fact that Parkinson’s disease can be managed with daily exercise, putting you back in control. This disease does NOT need to define you. Their belief in hope and inspiration for this community is a testimonial to their mission — to help provide this important tool of exercise to all people with Parkinson’s.
Physiologically, a drop in dopamine levels in the brain characterizes PD in older adults. Dopamine, a neurotransmitter, appears to regulate the level of neural activity needed to start or end a movement. Lack of dopamine leads to inadequate muscle activation, resulting in slowness of movement (bradykinesia) or incomplete movement (hypokinesia). It also interferes with the ability to maintain upright posture, resulting in poor balance. However, people with PD retain the ability to increase muscle activation and can learn to perform larger and faster movements using conscious effort.
Physical activity has been shown to have a positive influence in neurodegenerative diseases, with exercise being correlated with a reduced incidence of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease, and an improvement of motor symptoms in PD. It is possible that these benefits occur via mechanisms that reduce inflammation in the central nervous system, thus promoting neuronal resilience. Furthermore, animal models suggest that exercise may confer a “neuroprotective” benefit in PD, possibly delaying disease progression
Research is showing that exercise enhances this process of neuroplasticity. Exercise promotes increased blood flow to the brain and the upregulation, or increased production of a brain chemical called BDNF, Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor. BDNF is a growth factor that acts like “Miracle Gro” for the brain and may slow the progression or even reverse symptoms by improving the efficiency of dopamine. It acts to protect the brain from further degeneration. The concentration of BDNF in blood increases in proportion to the intensity of the exercise. Making your workout vigorous to get the most bang for your buck. Additionally, exercise strengthens the immune system which may also play a role in managing this disease.
Park A, et al., Effects of a formal exercise program on Parkinson’s disease: A pilot study using a delayed start design, Parkinsonism and Related Disorders (2013), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.parkreldis.2013.10.003
September/October 2009 Delaying Parkinson’s Disease
By Jackie Russell, RN, BSN, CNOR Aging Well Vol. 2 No. 4 P. 24 http://www.todaysgeriatricmedicine.com/archive/083109p24.shtml