MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: Parkinson disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disease affecting approximately 10 million people around the world. To date, the cause of PD remains poorly understood. It is reported that 90% PD cases have no identifiable genetic cause. What’s worse, few therapeutic advances for the treatment of PD have been made in the past decades. Nevertheless, growing prospective longitudinal studies shed lights on the potential beneficial effect of lifestyle factors on reducing the risk of developing Parkinson disease. In this study, we performed a a dose-response meta-analysis of more than half a million participants.
We found that physical activity, particularly moderate to vigorous physical activity, could significantly reduce PD risk.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: More physical activity is associated with a lower risk of developing Parkinson disease. The protective effect is dependent on intensity. When light activity (eg. walking) and moderate/vigorous activity (eg. swimming, jogging, and bicycling) were examined separately, only the latter was significantly associated with the decreased .Parkinson disease risk.
Importantly, we, for the first time, showed men are most likely to benefit from moderate/vigorous activity than women, which may be attributed to differential biological responses to physical activity between men and women. Future studies are warranted to validate our findings.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: Firstly, large prospective cohort studies are needed to further evaluate the association between physical activity and PD risk, and to investigate potential causal factors attributed to the observed gender differential effect.
Secondly, more epidemiological studies with detailed exercise types are needed to obtain reliable quantitative information of physical activities.
Fang X, Han D, Cheng Q, et al. Association of Levels of Physical Activity With Risk of Parkinson DiseaseA Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA Network Open. 2018;1(5):e182421. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.2421
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