An online training program has been launched by the Brain Grant Foundation to help professionals develop safe and effective exercise programming for people living with Parkinson’s disease (PD). The course is directed to physical therapists, personal trainers, and group fitness professionals. Using research from the Oregon Health & Science University's Balance Disorders Laboratory, the program teaches professionals how a variety of physical and cognitive activities can affect the motor symptoms of PD.
Studies suggest a consistent, vigorous fitness routine may improve motor symptoms of PD, including rigidity, slow and small movements, and impaired balance and coordination. Nonmotor symptoms, including cognition, anxiety, depression, and sleep disturbances may also be improved by exercise.
As with many treatments for neurologic disease, the earlier an exercise program is initiated for people with PD, the more effective the treatment is. Although any exercise is better than none, programming designed for people with PD that targets specific symptoms has been shown to have better outcomes. For many patients, finding a class or individual program with those features remains a challenge and training more physical therapy and fitness professionals. The Brain Grant Foundation hopes that this online continuing education program will help to change that.
Exercise professionals certified through NASM or AFAA will receive continuing education credit for completing the online Exercise for Parkinson's Training, and can register for this free training at training.briangrant.org.
Brian Grant, former pro basketball player and Founder of the Brain Grant Foundation said, "After being diagnosed with Parkinson's, I looked for ways to combat the symptoms that I was experiencing while keeping my physical abilities as long as possible," said Brian Grant, former NBA player and BGF founder. "I learned the importance of staying flexible, keeping good posture and practicing specific movements to address symptoms of the disease."Next Story