Exercise as it relates to Disease/The effects of exercise on the mental health of those with Parkinson Disease

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This is a critic of an exercise and how it relates to Parkinson Disease paper. This critic has been written as a university assignment for the University of Canberra for the unit: Health, Disease and Exercise.

The paper: By J. Baatile, BS; W. E. Langbein, PhD; F. Weaver, PhD; C. Maloney, MS and M. B. Jost, MD, Loyola University Medical Center, Chicago, IL 60611; Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital, Hines, IL 60141; Institute for Health Services Research and Policy Studies, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208; Benedictine University, Lisle, IL 60532.[1]

What is the background to this research?[edit]

Parkinsons disease is a neurodegenerative disease where individuals have difficulties with functional movement.

  • Impaired gait
  • Bradykinesia
  • Rigidity
  • Tremor at rest
  • Diminished expression
  • Kyphotic posture
  • Seborrhea
  • Sialorrhea

The scientific reason behind the occurrence of this disease is a result of the body having a deficiency of dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter. Dopamine regulates the substantia nigra and the striatum within the brain. There is yet to be a definitive diagnostic test for Parkinson disease, which is why it is necessary to talk to an experienced physician such as a neurologist when being diagnosed with such a thing.

Where is the research from?[edit]

The subjects were trained and participated at the Physcial Performance Research Laboratory at Edward Hines, Jr. VA hospital in USA. The material based around the experiment was work supported by the Office of Research and Development, Health Services Research and Development Service of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital Research Service Student Internship Program, Hines, IL.

What kind of research was this?[edit]

The research conducted was a pretest/posttest quasi-experimental design in which the participants themselves act as the control in the study. Each subject completed a test in the pre and post training. The context of this test was designed to measure mental functioning, activities of daily living, and motor function. All the volunteers also participated in the measuring of a resting electrocardiogram.

What did the research involve?[edit]

The research was conducted in order to determine if individuals with Parkinson Disease that completed an 8-week supervised PoleStriding program would display any improvements to their cognitive skills, activities of daily living, motor function, and quality of life. The measurements used were, The Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) and the Parkinson’s Disease Questionnaire (PDQ-39). The research contained six male volunteers with ages ranging from 72.7 +/- 3.7 years, who all performed Pole Striding exercises three times a week for 37 +/- 3 minutes over an 8-week period. The scores the participants received in both the pre and post testing’s, were then analyzed using the Wilcoxin Signed Ranks Test which is usually used when comparing two related samples.

What were the basic results?[edit]

The basic results from the 8-week trial were that the subjects who participated in the PoleStriding exercise program had increased functional independence and a better quality of life.

How did the researches interpret the results?[edit]

The measurement of the disease related quality of life was by the PDQ-39 index score. These results revealed significant differences between baseline and follow up (P<0.028). Three subjects however experienced decreases in regards to some of the subscales. The first had decreases on emotional well-being, communication, and bodily discomfort. A second on emotional well-being, cognition, and communication. Finally the third on stigma and cognition. It is evident that those with PD have a much higher chance of getting depression however it is still hard to ascertain whether these feeling is due to the disease itself or the repercussions and disability caused by the disease.

In regards to physical aspects the results indicated that some of the subjects experienced these positive outcomes after the completion of the program.

  • Falling less often
  • Leg cramps had become less frequent
  • Feeling a lot more physically stronger
  • Were able to do housework and leisurely activities with much less difficulty

What conclusions should be taken away from this research?[edit]

The study has indicated that supervised moderate intensity workouts throughout the week have physiological and physical benefits. Physiologically, the intervention promoted self-efficiency, increased confidence, and improved memory all which play an essential part in the overall mental health of the subjects. Physically the program improved the subject’s ability to initiate motion, range of motion, relaxation, coordination and muscle strength. It also stimulated independence in daily activities and the quality of life for those with stage one, two or three PD.

What are the implications of this research?[edit]

The research from this study has confirmed how positive and helpful exercise is for the mental and physical health of people with Parkinson’s Disease. With information such as this, medical professionals now have the necessary tools to support their diagnosis and eventual programs that they construct for those with PD.

References[edit]

  1. By J. Baatile, BS; W. E. Langbein, PhD; F. Weaver, PhD; C. Maloney, MS and M. B. Jost, MD, Loyola University Medical Center, Chicago, IL 60611; Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital, Hines, IL 60141; Institute for Health Services Research and Policy Studies, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208; Benedictine University, Lisle, IL 60532