HOW HAS THE CORONAVIRUS IMPACTED THOSE WITH PARKINSONS AND WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT ITCategory:
HOW HAS THE CORONAVIRUS IMPACTED THOSE WITH PARKINSON’S DISEASE AND WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT
Dr. Brandon Rosi, DPT, CSCS, Cert. DN, Cert. MSKUS
We know that exercise is good for your heart health, it strengthens our bones, muscles, and reduces tremors in Parkinson’s disease. Intensive research has demonstrated for years that those patients with Parkinson’s, exercise will improve balance, coordination, reduce falls, improve your mood, strength and maintaining your independence. The National Institute of Health (NIH) says preliminary evidence shows regular intensive exercise slows the progression of the disease. That is, exercise increases blood volume, which improves the neurological connections from within the brain as well as the pathways connecting the brain to the body.
This past year has been incredibly tough for everyone. We have undergone a critical and vital change to our everyday lives. Although I am not here to argue the veracity of the lockdowns, there are crucial negative implications that are a result of this invisible enemy. As healthcare workers and essential personnel work tirelessly to get everyone back to a safe normal that we all crave—we are learning so many important things related to the SAR-CoV-2 (Covid-19). The Lancet Neurology has reported three cases of individuals, aged 35, 45, and 58 experiencing Parkinson’s-like symptoms, slowed movements, tremors, loss of the sense of smell, muscle stiffness, irregular eye movements have all been reported. All three individuals have shown decreased brain function of the brain’s dopamine pathway system, while two are responding well to medication, one has made a spontaneous recovery. None of these individuals had a familial history of Parkinson’s. Much like the novel coronavirus we have limited data surrounding the long-term deficits associated with this implication and are stuck to the “wait and see” approach.
As some of the restrictions in each state begin to loosen and gyms re-open many are able to inch their way back to regular exercise. But what should you do if your fitness center is not yet open or maybe you are not personally ready to tackle that adventure? It is important to remember that the world is your playground, and you can truly exercise anywhere and in many cases without expensive gym equipment, thus further reducing your risk to yourself or your loved ones.
Drs. Brandon and Sam have agreed that the lockdowns have resulted in a new challenge to the Parkinson’s community from accessing vital services such as regular visits with your movement specialist, cardiologist, neurologist, medication refills, social interaction, and regular exercise activity. We need to find a way to help everyone to not feel isolated and gain access to these critical services. With this in mind, Dr. Brandon Rosi, with the help of his wife, Dr. Sam, are in discussions with PRO to begin a YouTube channel to discuss any and all things related to Parkinson’s, as well as other conditions. We want to become a resource for you and your loved ones to further advance the mission of PRO.
So how much exercise do I need?
Experts agree that you need a MINIMUM of 2 and a half hours per week of intensive exercise to prevent functional decline.
When should I start?
The sooner the better! The brain loses brain volume flow after just two days of inactivity, this is why it is important to have a regular exercise program that is updated as you get stronger or the disease progresses.
So, what exercise should I do?
Start with a walking program and contact your local trusted physical therapist to establish a plan as soon as possible. Please remember that Medicare is still allowing for telemedicine as a covered service until the end of the year 2021.
Rosi Physiotherapy can and will help you with these issues and more!
You can find Rosi Physiotherapy, Drs. Brandon & Samantha Rosi, in the Wellness Village at ParkinsonsResource.org/the-wellness-village/directory/rosi-physiotherapy-provider-of-lsvt-big where they have been members since Jun 7, 2017.