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Parkinson’s Disease
Volume 2012, Article ID 124527, 10 pages
Review Article

Progressive Resistance Exercise and Parkinson's Disease: A Review of Potential Mechanisms

1Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60612, USA
2Graduate Program in Neuroscience, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60612, USA
3Division of Geriatric Medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, CO 80045, USA
4Department of Applied Physiology and Kinesiology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
5Department of Neurology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610, USA
6Department of Bioengineering, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60612, USA
7Department of Physical Therapy, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60612, USA
8Department of Neurological Sciences, Rush University, Chicago, IL 60612, USA

Received 20 July 2011; Revised 19 September 2011; Accepted 20 September 2011

Academic Editor: Gammon M. Earhart

Copyright © 2012 Fabian J. David et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper reviews the therapeutically beneficial effects of progressive resistance exercise (PRE) on Parkinson's disease (PD). First, this paper discusses the rationale for PRE in PD. Within the first section, the review discusses the central mechanisms that underlie bradykinesia and muscle weakness, highlights findings related to the central changes that accompany PRE in healthy individuals, and extends these findings to individuals with PD. It then illustrates the hypothesized positive effects of PRE on nigro-striatal-thalamo-cortical activation and connectivity. Second, it reviews recent findings of the use of PRE in individuals with PD. Finally, knowledge gaps of using PRE on individuals with PD are discussed along with suggestions for future research.