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MDS 2021 | How does exercise slow progression in Parkinson’s disease?

Daniel Corcos, PhD, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, discusses biomarker changes that are associated with exercise in Parkinson’s disease. Accumulating evidence from animal models of PD suggest that exercise can reduce inflammation, decrease α-synuclein expression, and increase neurotrophic growth factor expression. A recently published study showed that infusion of plasma from exercised mice improved neuroplasticity and cognitive function, suggested to be related to elevated brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels. Dr Corcos comments on the potential of developing pharmacological agents that exploit the protective mechanisms of exercise, such as BDNF elevation. This interview took place during the 2021 International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders.