A single 15-minute, hand-exercise session improves manual dexterity and movement in patients with Parkinson's disease

January 21, 2016

Researchers from the University of Granada (UGR) have proven that a single 15-minute, hand-exercise session greatly improves manual dexterity and movement in patients with Parkinson's disease, helping them to carry out tasks such as writing or buttoning.

Parkinson's disease is, nowadays, the second most prevalent neurodegenerative disease in the world, and is characterized for being progressive and having a greatly heterogeneous development.

The clinic of this disease is characterized by motor and non-motor symptoms. Motor symptoms include bradykinesia (slowness of voluntary movements) and rigidity, both of them have a negative impact on the functional performance of different tasks.

Additionally, with Parkinson's often experience muscle weakness and a partial loss on their . The progression of these clinic symptoms throughout the disease causes difficulty in the performance of daily tasks. Despite the great number of therapeutic proposals for patients with this disease, new approaches from physiotherapy and occupational therapy are essential for the improvement in this population's quality of life.

60 patients with Parkinson's

In this research, UGR researchers belonging to the departments of Physiotherapy and Nursing have relied on the collaboration of the Asociación de Parkinson de Granada association. The research was carried out with 60 patients with Parkinson's: 30 of the participants were allocated to the designed exercise and the other 30 to a control group.

The researchers designed a brief intervention, of barely 15 minutes, which caused changes in arm, hand and finger movement quality, with the goal of improving the performance of different tasks.

"This intervention was based in hand exercises, whose effect in strength and dexterity was assessed. The goal was to improve the performance of this parameters, so that it could have an immediate application on the performance of tasks such as writing or buttoning", explains Marie Carmen Valenza, UGR professor at the Department of Physiotherapy.

Patients who participated in the project were evaluated before and after the intervention. The assessed parameters of movement, speed, dexterity and strength improved significantly.

Professor Valenza stresses that these results " will be of great clinical usefulness, given that, with only 15 minutes of exercise and in an autonomous way, the patients will be able to improve the performance of tasks that currently are too difficult to them."

Explore further: Current therapy for patients with Parkinson's disease shown to be ineffective

More information: Sara Mateos-Toset et al. Effects of a Single Hand–Exercise Session on Manual Dexterity and Strength in Persons with Parkinson Disease: A Randomized Controlled Trial, PM&R (2015). DOI: 10.1016/j.pmrj.2015.06.004

Related Stories

Current therapy for patients with Parkinson's disease shown to be ineffective

January 19, 2016
New research from the University of Birmingham has shown that physiotherapy and occupational therapy do not produce improvements in quality of life for patients with mild to moderate Parkinson's disease.

Aerobic exercise benefits patients with Parkinson's disease

January 19, 2016
You've likely heard this before: Exercise is good for you. It helps your heart, bones, back and more.

Finding a treatment for Parkinson's disease dementia

September 2, 2015
University of Adelaide neuroscientists are leading a world-first study into a form of dementia experienced by many Parkinson's disease suffers, which is expected to ultimately lead to a new therapy for the condition.

Researchers discover novel factor in Parkinson's disease

January 12, 2016
A team of local researchers have discovered a previously unknown cellular defect in patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease, and identified a sequence of pathological events that can trigger or accelerate premature death ...

Study shows benefits of multi-tasking on exercise

June 2, 2015
Who says you can't do two things at once and do them both well? A new University of Florida study challenges the notion that multi-tasking causes one or both activities to suffer. In a study of older adults who completed ...

Study: Weight training improves Parkinson's symptoms

February 16, 2012
New research suggests weight training for two years significantly improves the motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease compared to other forms of exercise such as stretching and balance exercises. The clinical trial, which ...

Recommended for you

Singing may be good medicine for Parkinson's patients

August 11, 2017
(HealthDay)—Singing? To benefit people with Parkinson's disease? It just may help, a researcher says.

Tracing the path of Parkinson's disease proteins

August 4, 2017
As neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease progress, misfolded proteins clump together in neurons, recruiting normal proteins in the cell to also misfold and aggregate. Cells in which this ...

Diabetes drug shows potential as disease-modifying therapy for Parkinson's disease

August 3, 2017
A drug commonly used to treat diabetes may have disease-modifying potential to treat Parkinson's disease, a new UCL-led study suggests, paving the way for further research to define its efficacy and safety.

Two new studies offer insights into gastrointestinal dysfunction in Parkinson's patients

July 31, 2017
Constipation is one of the most common non-motor related complaints affecting Parkinson's disease (PD) patients. Two important studies from the same research group published in the Journal of Parkinson's Disease expand the ...

New drug may treat and limit progression of Parkinson's disease

July 31, 2017
Researchers at Binghamton University have developed a new drug that may limit the progression of Parkinson's disease while providing better symptom relief to potentially hundreds of thousands of people with the disease.

A new insight into Parkinson's disease protein

July 28, 2017
Abnormal clumps of certain proteins in the brain are a prominent feature of Parkinson's and other neurodegenerative diseases, but the role those same proteins might play in the normal brain has been unknown.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.