Aerobic Exercise Preserves Olfaction Function in Individuals with Parkinson’s Disease

While these results provide promising preliminary evidence that exercise may modify the disease process, further systematic evaluation is necessary

Anson B. Rosenfeldt; Tanujit Dey; Jay L. Alberts

2016

Scholarcy highlights

  • Based on anecdotal reports of improved olfaction following aerobic exercise, the aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of an 8-week aerobic exercise program on olfaction function in individuals with Parkinson’s disease
  • While a trend was present for the Voluntary Exercise Cycling group to be exercising at a greater intensity as measured by heart rate reserve, there was no significant difference between exercise intensity for the VE and forced exercise groups with means of 57.9 and 48.9 percent of HRR, respectively
  • There was a significant difference in cadence between the VE and FE groups, with means of 69.7 and 82.9 rpms, respectively; an analysis of covariance model, using cadence as the dependent variable, revealed a nonsignificant interaction between cadence and change in University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test score between groups
  • Olfaction function may worsen with disease duration, which is consistent with the nonexercise group demonstrating a decline in UPSIT scores over time
  • Individuals with PD who participated in 24 sessions of aerobic exercise maintained their olfaction function as measured by the UPSIT, while individuals who did not exercise demonstrated a worsening in UPSIT scores
  • While these results provide promising preliminary evidence that exercise may modify the disease process, further systematic testing is needed

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