Applications of Yoga in Parkinson’s disease (Roland, 2014)

It’s published!

FINAL (Roland, 2014)

You can access the FULL article here. It is a systematic review summarizing all the available published research on yoga for Parkinson’s disease (which wasn’t much…).

Preliminary data suggested modest improvements in functional mobility, balance, upper- and lower-limb flexibility, and lower-limb strength. The presented evidence also showed improvements in nonphysical factors, such as mood and sleep.

This is important because improved mobility, balance, and lower-extremity function can reduce the fear of falling and functional declines related to inactivity. Also, upper-body flexibility supports postural stability and daily living activities, such as reaching for items on the top shelf.

While the evidence is limited (meaning there’s not a lot of studies, and the study quality is not high), it does suggest that there are some benefits, both physical and related to well-being, that deserve greater investigation. But we still have a long way to go with respect to quality scientific research supporting the the benefits of yoga…

This article represents my passion in life. I hope to encourage other scientists (and hopefully myself in future projects, if the grant-gods agree!) to examine yoga with the same scientific standards we do other randomized controlled exercise trials, and give scientific backing to all those benefits us yogis feel within us.

I’m so happy to share this with you and would love to hear your thoughts on the evidence presented, or if you have any questions! much love.

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8 thoughts on “Applications of Yoga in Parkinson’s disease (Roland, 2014)

  1. I am glad to see how Yoga can benefit us with Parkinson’s. I have done Yoga at different times in my life. It can help with psychosocial well-being as well as motor ability with the stretching, flexibility, and balance of all the limbs. I think it would be part of a package of exercises that I would do. I learned at Holy Family Hospital last spring about making big movements, I use the exercise video “Delay the Disease” by David Zid, I use my treadmill daily, I use an exercise peddler, and I attend an arthrosize (water) class two to four times a week. Being out with people in the pool class is good not only for motor improvement but also for the social aspect. We have lunch together after the class, and some of us go together to public meetings on Osteoporosis and Arthritis. I cannot add much more to my exercise program. My Parkinson medications have been decreased; I think the dopamine in my brain has increased because of the exercise I am doing. Instead of taking four drugs, I now take two Parkinson drugs and am functioning as well as I was on four.

    I hope to meet you in Chilliwack when a date and time can be arranged. I am not certain my response will get to you by replying to the email, so I am sending this to your email address that I have. You may get it twice.

    Kathy Morrison

    Date: Thu, 20 Feb 2014 12:14:05 +0000 To: knana43@hotmail.com

  2. Hello, I am wondering if you have any knowledge about bell peppers and Parkinson’s. In the March Oprah magazine in an article called “Everyday Food All-Stars” by Jessica Girdwain it says that “smokers have a lower risk of developing Parkinson’s….but there may be another way to get the benefit: peppers. They’re a safe source of nicotine, which may protect dopamine-producing cells, says Susan Searles Nielsen, PhD, whose study, published in the Annals of Neurology, found that eating peppers (mostly bell peppers, but spicier varieties count, too) twice a week or more was associated with at least a 30 percent reduced risk of Parkinson’s.” I am surprised that peppers are a source of nicotine and wonder about this information.

    Kathy Morrison

    Date: Thu, 20 Feb 2014 12:14:05 +0000 To: knana43@hotmail.com

    • There’s been discussions of this, including green peppers, tomatoes, and tobacco because they are part of the Solanaceae (nicotine) family. Research has consistently shown an inverse association between PD and tobacco use (meaning smokers have a lower lifetime risk of PD, doesn’t mean they won’t ever get it). How researchers think this happens is that nicotine attenuates cellular degeneration in brain cells; nicotine protects against nigrostriatal damage. Nicotine and dopamine use the same channels in the brain so that’s why they may have an impact on each other (and dopamine is the chemical for “rewarding feelings”). Does that help?

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