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Exercise and Parkinson's disease
  1. E Diane Playford
  1. Correspondence to Dr E Diane Playford, UCL Institute of Neurology, National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square, London WC1N 3BG, UK; d.playford{at}ion.ucl.ac.uk

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As adults age muscle mass and strength diminish.1 The reasons for this are multifactorial and the consequences significant. Adding specific age-related declines in muscle mass and strength to a sedentary life style results in unsteadiness, falls, fear of falling and limitation of activity. Compound this ‘normal’ change with a diagnosis of Parkinson's disease with the attendant bradykinesia and postural instability and falling becomes an integral part of life. About 70–80% of people with Parkinson's disease report falls; if they are not prepared to fall, then they will be unable to walk.2 Goodwin et al3 (see page 1232) report a parallel group randomised controlled trial to compare the impact of an exercise programme with usual care in Parkinson's disease. …

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