Enhancing neuroplasticity in the basal ganglia: The role of exercise in Parkinson's disease

Authors

  • Giselle M. Petzinger MD,

    Corresponding author
    1. The George and MaryLou Boone Center for Parkinson's Disease Research, Department of Neurology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA
    2. Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA
    • Department of Neurology, MCA-241, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, 90033
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  • Beth E. Fisher PhD,

    1. Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA
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  • Jon-Eric Van Leeuwen BSc,

    1. The George and MaryLou Boone Center for Parkinson's Disease Research, Department of Neurology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA
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  • Marta Vukovic MSc,

    1. The George and MaryLou Boone Center for Parkinson's Disease Research, Department of Neurology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA
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  • Garnik Akopian MD,

    1. Andrus Gerontology Center, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA
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  • Charlie K. Meshul PhD,

    1. Department of Behavioral Neuroscience, Oregon Health and Science University/VA Medical Center, Portland, Oregon, USA
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  • Daniel P. Holschneider MD,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA
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  • Angelo Nacca PhD,

    1. Department of Radiology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA
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  • John P. Walsh PhD,

    1. Andrus Gerontology Center, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA
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  • Michael W. Jakowec PhD

    1. The George and MaryLou Boone Center for Parkinson's Disease Research, Department of Neurology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA
    2. Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA
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  • Conflict of interest: Nothing to report.

Abstract

Epidemiological and clinical trials have suggested that exercise is beneficial for patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). However, the underlying mechanisms and potential for disease modification are currently unknown. This review presents current findings from our laboratories in patients with PD and animal models. The data indicate that alterations in both dopaminergic and glutamatergic neurotransmission, induced by activity-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. © 2010 Movement Disorder Society

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