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The Science Journal of the Lander College of Arts and Sciences

Abstract

Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease that negatively affects many American lives. It is characterized by the degeneration of dopamine-secreting neurons in the Substantia Nigra Pars Compacta (SNpc). Individuals with Parkinson’s Disease lack motor coordination and experience severe motor impairments. Unfortunately, there is currently no treatment method available that can successfully cure the disease. In fact, all of the mainstream available treatments only eliminate some PD symptoms, and they cause many negative side effects. Although nontraditional, exercise is a side effect free treatment method that can potentially slow the progression of the disease and alleviate some symptoms. This paper first gives a comprehensive overview of the pathology and current treatments of Parkinson’s disease. Then this paper reviews the benefits of exercise therapy for PD patients and the potential biological mechanisms that drive the success of exercise therapy.

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