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Early implementation of intended exercise improves quality of life in Parkinson’s disease patients

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Recent data have shown that regular exercise may ameliorate motor symptoms in Parkinson’s disease (PD). This study aims to investigate how intended exercise impacts motor and non-movement symptoms of PD.


Eighty-eight patients were randomly assigned to an early exercise group (E-EG), late exercise group (L-EG), or a control group (CG) using a randomized delayed-start design. The E-EG carried out a rigorous, formal exercise program for 1 h, twice per week, for 18 months (May 2018–November 2019). The L-EG took part in the exercise program in the final 6–12 months of the study. We assessed outcomes using the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS), PDQ-39 Questionnaire, Line A test, Line B test, Nine-hole column test, 30 s squat and stand-up test (30 s SST), 10-m walk test (10mW), Balance Evaluation Systems Mini Test (MiniBESTest), FAB, and Time Up and Go Test (TUG).


The patients with PD in the E-EG had lower performance in the UPDRS and Line B test compared to those in the L-EG at post-exercise (p < 0.05). Moreover, the patients with PD in the E-EG had much lower performance in the PDQ-39 and 9-Hole Peg test compared to those in the L-EG at post-exercise (p < 0.01).


Implementation of an exercise regimen improved the movement abilities and quality of life in PD patients, especially in the E-EG. This data supports the idea that intended exercise should be implemented as part of the treatment strategy for PD patients as early as possible.

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Parkinson’s disease


Early-exercise group


Late-exercise group


Control group


Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale


PDQ-39 Questionnaire

30 s SST:

30-S squat and stand-up test


10-M walk test


Balance Evaluation Systems Mini Test


Time Up and Go Test


Fullerton advanced balance scale


Activities of daily living


Lee Silverman Voice Treatment-LOUD

H-Y scale:

Hoehn and Yahr scale


Levodopa-equivalent daily dose


Functional magnetic resonance imaging


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This study was carried out with the adequate understanding and consent of the patients. We would like to thank all participants and their families. We thank Prof. Yanhong Tai (Department of Neuropathology, The 5th Medical Center of Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing, China) for statistical assistance of the article. We also thank Prof. Yanchen Xie who provided professional writing services and partial materials.


This research received the grant from healthcare funding agency in the military scientific research institute (Military health-care project, No. 18BJZ34). The funding supported the design of the study, material collection, analysis, and interpretation of data and manuscript writing.

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Authors and Affiliations



Data analysis: Yang Yang, Jiarui Yao, Dan Liu, and Na Wang. Investigation: Yang Yang, Jiarui Yao, Na Wang, Tianyu Jiang, Yuliang Wang, and Dandan Liu. Methodology: Lifeng Chen and Weiping Wu. Formal design: Weiping Wu, Lifeng Chen, Tianyu Jiang, and Zhenfu Wang. Writing—review and editing: Yang Yang and Jiarui Yao. The author Pro. Tianyu Jiang who works in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, has taken part in all the exercise training, and endorsed by funding in the project (No.18BJZ34). The author Pro. Lifeng Chen who works in the Department of Neurosurgery, has done a lot work including curation of the data, polish of the revision of our manuscript.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Tianyu Jiang or Zhenfu Wang.

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This study was approved by the Ethics Committee in General Hospital of Chinese PLA (IRB No. S2020-042–02).

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The authors have consent for publication and have no conflict of interest to report.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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The authors have no conflict of interest to report. Our data availability statement has no conflict.

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These authors Yang Yang and Lifeng Chen have contributed equally to this work

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Yang, Y., Chen, L., Yao, J. et al. Early implementation of intended exercise improves quality of life in Parkinson’s disease patients. Neurol Sci 43, 1761–1767 (2022).

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