Physical activity and sports in patients suffering from Parkinson's disease in comparison with healthy seniors

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Physical activity during lifetime was investigated among 32 Parkinson patients (age 65.6±8.1 yrs, mean±SD) retrospectively by means of a structured interview. Data were compared with 31 healthy controls (age 61.7±5.8 yrs). An objective score was obtained by presenting a list of all kinds of sports, subjective estimation of physical activity was done by visual analogous scales. Until the occurrence of the first symptoms (mean=58.5 yrs) the patients did not differ from controls. During the course of disease a striking reduction in physical activity but no complete abandonment of sports was found. Swimming, hiking and gymnastics were the favoured sports in both groups. Learning of new sports seemed to be impossible for the patients.