Pingpong “significantly improves” Parkinson’s symptoms in pilot study

In calling for sharp hand-eye coordination, alertness and fast reflexes, pingpong (or table tennis to its extra severe practitioners) has come to be seen as a helpful remedy for various illnesses, particularly Alzheimer’s, dementia and those associated with the brain. Researchers in Japan have turned their eye to its potential to deal with signs of Parkinson’s illness, with a six-month preliminary examine pointing to important enhancements within the participant’s capability to hold out quite a lot of on a regular basis duties.

The examine led by scientists at Japan’s Fukuoka College concerned 12 topics with a mean age of 73, all with gentle to average Parkinson’s illness identified a mean of seven years prior. At first of the examine, the researchers assessed the affected person’s signs to gauge their severity, earlier than tasking every of them with a weekly pingpong session for 5 hours at a time.

These concerned stretching classes adopted by pingpong workouts with an skilled participant. These classes had been purposely designed for Parkinson’s sufferers by the college’s sports activities science division, with the topic’s signs assessed after three months of remedy after which once more at six months.

At each intervals, the members exhibited “important enhancements” of their capability to hold out a spread of duties. These included speech, handwriting, dressing themselves, getting away from bed and strolling. On the examine’s outset, the members wanted a mean of two makes an attempt to get away from bed, whereas that was diminished to only one on the examine’s finish. Important enhancements had been additionally noticed in issues like facial features, posture, hand tremors and neck stiffness.

Whereas enthused by these marked enhancements, the researchers be aware that the examine concerned solely a small pattern measurement, and that it did not contain a management group to match signs amongst Parkinson’s sufferers who didn’t play ping pong. They may look to deal with these factors with additional analysis, with plans underway for a nationwide multi-center examine.

“Whereas this examine is small, the outcomes are encouraging as a result of they present pingpong, a comparatively cheap type of remedy, could enhance some signs of Parkinson’s illness,” mentioned Inoue. “A a lot bigger examine is now being deliberate to substantiate these findings.”

The group is presenting its analysis on the American Academy of Neurology’s 72nd Annual Assembly in April, whereas an summary of the paper might be seen online here.

Supply: American Academy of Neurology