The mechanism of physical activity-induced amelioration of Parkinson's disease: A narrative review

Piotr Gronek, Aline Nogueira Haas, Wojciech Czarny, Robert Podstawski, Marcela Do Santos Delabary, Cain C.T. Clark, Michal Boraczynski, Maria Tarnas, Paulina Wycichowska, Mariola Pawlaczyk, Joanna Gronek

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)


Physical activity, together with its ameliorative effects on Parkinson's disease (PD) symptoms, remains a relatively unappreciated factor which may be beneficial for the treatment outcome. Contemporary evidence supports the positive effects of non-pharmacological approaches to PD symptom management, in particular the effects of the exercise on both, motor and non-motor symptoms. The aim of the study was to review the mechanisms of exercise-induced amelioration of PD symptoms. Methods: Electronic databases (PubMed, Web of Science and Google Scholar) were searched using the following key words: "Parkinson and physical activity"OR "Parkinson disease and exercise"OR "Parkinson disease and lifestyle factors"OR "Parkinson disease and longevity". A total of 97 studies which investigated PD genetics and various forms of exercise and their etiologic impact on PD were reviewed. The studies were subdivided into four topic groups: 1) genetics of PD, 2) exercise and the brain, 3) physical activity and PD, 4) mind-body interventions, and discussed accordingly. Adequate levels of physical activity are associated with higher quality of life in PD patients. Physical activity may have protective and stimulatory effects for better functional efficiency in higher-level cognitive networks. It can also improve balance and motor functions by improving muscle strength. Given the etiologic evidence of the beneficial effects of physical activity on PD, albeit tentative, a concerted effort to elucidate the processes and outcomes of physical activity on ameliorating symptoms of PD must be undertaken.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)192-202
Number of pages11
JournalAging and Disease
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

Copyright: © 2020 Gronek P et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution
License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


  • Cognitive networks
  • Mind-body interventions
  • Motor symptoms
  • Parkinson disease
  • Physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cell Biology

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