Exercise and Nutritional Benefits in PD: Rodent Models and Clinical Settings

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Physical exercise offers a highly effective health-endowering activity as has been evidence using rodent models of Parkinson’s disease (PD). It is a particularly useful intervention in individuals employed in sedentary occupations or afflicted by a neurodegenerative disorder, such as PD. The several links between exercise and quality-of-life, disorder progression and staging, risk factors and symptoms-biomarkers in PD all endower a promise for improved prognosis. Nutrition provides a strong determinant for disorder vulnerability and prognosis with fish oils and vegetables with a mediterranean diet offering both protection and resistance. Three factors determining the effects of exercise on disorder severity of patients may be presented: (i) Exercise effects upon motor impairment, gait, posture and balance, (ii) Exercise reduction of oxidative stress, stimulation of mitochondrial biogenesis and up-regulation of autophagy, and (iii) Exercise stimulation of dopamine (DA) neurochemistry and trophic factors. Running-wheel performance, as measured by distance run by individual mice from different treatment groups, was related to DA-integrity, indexed by striatal DA levels. Finally, both nutrition and exercise may facilitate positive epigenetic outcomes, such as lowering the dosage of L-Dopa required for a therapeutic effect.