Regular physical exercise would reduce the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, especially in women.
- Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder, which is associated with motor, cognitive and sleep disorders.
- The most active women have a reduced risk of about 25% of developing Parkinson’s disease.
- “Precursor symptoms could be responsible for a decrease in physical activity in patients who will develop the pathology”.
Nearly 167,000 patients are affected by Parkinson’s disease in France. This neurodegenerative pathology of the brain is characterized by motor symptoms such as slow movements, tremors or rigidity, as well as cognitive, sleep and mental health problems.
Warning symptoms can lead to less exercise
No treatment can cure Parkinson’s disease, but regular physical activity is often mentioned, in many studies, as a potential prevention track. In recent work published in the journal Neurologyan Inserm team notably analyzed the specific role of sports exercise in the prevention of Parkinson’s disease in women.
For the purposes of this research, the scientists carried out a long-term follow-up unlike previous studies which presented very short follow-ups with a single evaluation of physical activity.. “Which did not make it possible to overcome certain biases and, in particular, the so-called ‘reverse causality’ bias (…) This bias is reflected in the following way: early symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (constipation , sleep disorders, smell disorders, subtle motor disorders, etc.) can be present several years before the disease is diagnosed.The discomfort they cause could lead people to modify their behavior (such as, for example, their level of physical activity) prior to the diagnosis, which is likely to distort the statistical analyzes studying the relationship between these behaviors and the risk of developing the disease”they explained in a statement.
Parkinson’s: a risk reduced by 25% in the most active women
In the study, the researchers analyzed “the impact of physical activity on the occurrence of Parkinson’s disease in women from the French E3N cohort”, which has brought together 100,000 participants for more than 29 years. The evolution of sports activity was monitored through six questionnaires provided at different stages of the research. “In order to reduce the risk of reverse causality bias, resulting from the possible influence of the precursor symptoms of the disease on physical activity in the years preceding the diagnosis, the scientists examined the impact of physical activity evaluated more than 5, 10, 15 and 20 years before the diagnosis on the risk of onset of Parkinson’s disease”can we read in the document.
According to the results, the most active volunteers presented a reduced risk of approximately 25% of developing this neurodegenerative pathology compared to participants who were less physically active.
In 2018, 1,200 women in the cohort were diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. The researchers found that the participants affected by the disease performed less physical activity compared to the other volunteers during the entire follow-up. “This gap between sick and non-sick women increased further in the 10 years before diagnosis, suggesting that precursor symptoms occurring in this interval may indeed be responsible for a decline in physical activity in women who will develop the disease. disease, but have not yet been diagnosed”the scientists pointed out.