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(searched for: doi:10.3389/fphys.2018.01040)
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, Vera Abeln, Tina Foitschik, Thomas Abel, Maria Cristina Polidori, Heiko K. Strüder
Published: 2 September 2021
Brain and Behavior, Volume 11; https://doi.org/10.1002/brb3.2352

Abstract:
Background and purpose Exercise is an adjunctive treatment in the management of Parkinson's disease (PD), but barriers such as health status, fear of overexertion, and lack of transportation to the location prevent regular exercise participation. Disease-inclusive exercise classes may offer an opportunity to make exercise more accessible for older adults with and without diseases. However, the efficacy of such heterogenous exercise classes is still widely unknown. Therefore, it was the aim of this study to analyze the feasibility of disease-inclusive exercise classes in older adults with and without PD. Methods Twenty-one older adults (healthy older adults (HOA): n = 13; PD: n = 8) completed an 8-week multimodal exercise intervention in supervised group sessions. Exercise classes lasted 60 min with the goal of two participations a week. We assessed physical fitness (timed up and go test [TUG], 6-minute walking test [6MWT], single leg stance), depressive symptoms and cognitive functions, and we determined growth factors (BDNF & IGF-1) before and after the intervention to determine the effects and by that, the feasibility of a disease-inclusive exercise program. Repeated measures ANOVA were used to establish changes. Results TUG and 6MWT improved significantly after the training in both HOA (p = .008; p< .001) and individuals with PD (p = .024; p< .001). Furthermore, individuals with PD increased single leg stance left (p = .003). HOA (p = .003) and individuals with PD (p = .001) decreased their depressive symptoms between pre- and post-test significantly. Whereas growth factors tended to improve, no differences in cognitive functions were revealed. Conclusion Disease-inclusive multicomponent exercise improved physical functions and reduced depressive symptoms independent of health status. This should encourage exercise providers, researchers, and clinicians to further investigate disease-inclusive exercise, because they may have an important social impact and represent a more inclusive society.
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