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Exercise for Older Adults Improves the Quality of Life in Parkinson’s Disease and Potentially Enhances the Immune Response to COVID-19

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Brain Sci. 2020, 10(9), 612; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci10090612
Received: 13 August 2020 / Revised: 26 August 2020 / Accepted: 3 September 2020 / Published: 6 September 2020
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder brought about due to dopaminergic neuronal cell loss in the midbrain substantia nigra pars compacta region. PD presents most commonly in older adults and is a disorder of both motor and nonmotor dysfunction. The novel SARS-CoV-2 virus is responsible for the recent COVID-19 pandemic, and older individuals, those with preexisting medical conditions, or both have an increased risk of developing COVID-19 with more severe outcomes. People-with-Parkinson’s (PwP) of advanced age can have both immune and autonomic nervous problems that potentially lead to pre-existing pulmonary dysfunction and higher infection risk, increasing the probability of contracting COVID-19. A lifestyle change involving moderate-intensity exercise has the potential to protect against SARS-CoV-2 through strengthening the immune system. In addition to a potential protective measure against SARS-CoV-2, exercise has been shown to improve quality-of-life (QoL) in PD patients. Recent studies provide evidence of exercise as both neuroprotective and neuroplastic. This article is a literature review investigating the role exercise plays in modifying the immune system, improving health outcomes in PwP, and potentially acting as a protective measure against SARS-Cov-2 infection. We conclude that exercise, when correctly performed, improves QoL and outcomes in PwP, and that the enhanced immune response from moderate-intensity exercise could potentially offer additional protection against COVID-19. View Full-Text
Keywords: Parkinson’s disease; COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; older adults; exercise; pro-immune response; anti-inflammatory response; antiviral; neurodegenerative disorder Parkinson’s disease; COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; older adults; exercise; pro-immune response; anti-inflammatory response; antiviral; neurodegenerative disorder
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MDPI and ACS Style

Hall, M.-F.E.; Church, F.C. Exercise for Older Adults Improves the Quality of Life in Parkinson’s Disease and Potentially Enhances the Immune Response to COVID-19. Brain Sci. 2020, 10, 612. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci10090612

AMA Style

Hall M-FE, Church FC. Exercise for Older Adults Improves the Quality of Life in Parkinson’s Disease and Potentially Enhances the Immune Response to COVID-19. Brain Sciences. 2020; 10(9):612. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci10090612

Chicago/Turabian Style

Hall, Mary-Frances E., and Frank C. Church. 2020. "Exercise for Older Adults Improves the Quality of Life in Parkinson’s Disease and Potentially Enhances the Immune Response to COVID-19" Brain Sciences 10, no. 9: 612. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci10090612

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