In the last decade, a considerable number of articles has shown that exercise is effective in improving motor performance in Parkinson disease. In particular, recent studies have focused on the efficacy of intensive exercise in achieving optimal results in the rehabilitation of patients with Parkinson disease. The effects of intensive exercise in promoting cell proliferation and neuronal differentiation in animal models are reported in a large cohort of studies, and these neuroplastic effects are probably related to increased expression of a variety of neurotrophic factors. The authors outline the relation between intensive exercises and neuroplastic activity on animal models of Parkinson disease and discuss the clinical results of different intensive strategies on motor performance and disease progression in patients with Parkinson disease.
From the Department of Parkinson Disease Rehabilitation, Moriggia-Pelascini Hospital, Gravedona ed Uniti, Italy (GF); Department of Neurorehabilitation, Scientific Institute of Montescano, S. Maugeri Foundation IRCCS, Montescano, Italy (GF, GB, NB); Department of Neurorehabilitation, Scientific Institute of Milano, S. Maugeri Foundation IRCCS, Milano, Italy (PB); Department of Biomedical Engineering, Scientific Institute of Montescano, S. Maugeri Foundation IRCCS, Montescano, Italy (RM); and Parkinson Institute, Istituti Clinici di Perfezionamento, Milano, Italy (GP).
All correspondence and requests for reprints should be addressed to: Giuseppe Frazzitta, MD, Department of Parkinson Disease Rehabilitation, Moriggia-Pelascini Hospital Via Pelascini 3, 22015 Gravedona ed Uniti (CO), Italy.
Funded by the S. Maugeri Foundation, IRCCS (ricerca corrente 2010).
Financial disclosure statements have been obtained, and no conflicts of interest have been reported by the authors or by any individuals in control of the content of this article.