Epidemiological and clinical trials have suggested that exercise is beneficial for patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD). However, the underlying mechanisms associated with these benefits and potential for disease modification are currently unknown. This presentation will address current findings from our laboratories in patients with PD and in a mouse model of dopamine depletion. The data indicate that alterations in both dopaminergic and glutamatergic neurotransmission, induced by experience-dependent (exercise) processes, may mitigate the cortically driven hyper-excitability in the basal ganglia normally observed in the parkinsonian state. These insights have potential to identify novel therapeutic treatments capable of reversing or delaying disease progression in PD and other neurodegenerative disorders.
- animal models
- PET imaging
- Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation