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Qin, Z., Zhang, L., Sun, F., Fang, X., Meng, C., Tanner, C. and Chan, P. (2009) Health Related Quality of Life in Early Parkinson’s Disease: Impact of Motor and Non-Motor Symptoms, Results from Chinese Levodopa Exposed Cohort. Parkinsonism & Related Disorders, 15, 767-771.
AUTHORS: Iva Musulin
ABSTRACT: Quality of life encompasses physical, psychological and social aspects of health. Apart from motor symptoms (physical aspects), Parkinson’s disease (PD) is also closely related with various non-motor symptoms (psychological and social aspects) that can undermine quality of life greatly, even in early stages of the disease. Most research studies in this field focus on analysis of motor symptoms in PD sufferers. Although benefits of physical activity for the psychosocial quality of life are well-known, they have been mostly neglected in case of the people suffering from PD. Numerous studies clearly show that training programs can ameliorate the quality of life as far as non-motor functions in PD sufferers are concerned. The only psychological aspects of the disease related to the effects of exercise that have been researched so far are depression and cognitive functions. Depression is the most common denominator of poor quality of life, while dementia often accompanies the Parkinson’s disease. Studies have shown positive effects of exercise on the social life of those suffering from the disease, especially in case of group exercise. Studying psychological and social aspects of such chronic conditions as PD is of utmost importance for monitoring the patient’s adjustment to the disease, functioning with it, as well as the overall well-being and satisfaction with life. Thus far, the results have been pointing towards improvement of the quality of life. Exercise is a readily available method of treatment in case of PD, especially if applied in the early stages of the disease. In addition to reviewing the existing studies on the relation between exercise and quality of life of the patients, this paper will also focus on the way the psychological and social aspects of PD are influenced by exercise.