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Physical Activity and Clinical Progression in PD

Parkinsonism Relat Disord; ePub 2018 Dec 10; Amara, et al

There are no differences in self-reported physical activity between healthy controls (HC) and patients with early Parkinson disease (PD), but activity levels decline longitudinally in PD, a recent study found. Furthermore, exploratory analyses show that higher self-reported physical activity is associated with less disease progression. Researchers used data from the Parkinson's Progression Marker Initiative (PPMI), a prospective, longitudinal study evaluating markers of progression in PD participants who are unmedicated at enrollment. Physical Activity Scale of the Elderly (PASE), a self-reported measure of physical activity, was administered to patients with early PD (n=380) and HC (n=174). PASE scores for PD and HC were compared with t-tests and changes over time were evaluated with generalized estimating equations. Researchers found:

  • There were no differences in activity levels between PD and HC at any time point.
  • However, PD participants had a longitudinal decrease in PASE from years 2 to 4, while HC did not.
  • In exploratory analyses controlling for age, sex, and disease duration, higher self-reported activity at year 2 were associated with slower progression of motor symptoms, Activities of Daily Living (ADL) performance, depression, anxiety, and cognitive decline over 2 years.


Amara AW, Chahine L, Seedorff N, Caspell-Garcia CJ, Coffey C, Simuni T, the Parkinson's Progression Markers Initiative. Self-reported physical activity levels and clinical progression in early Parkinson's disease. [Published online ahead of print December 10, 2018]. Parkinsonism Relat Disord. doi:10.1016/j.parkreldis.2018.11.006.