It doesn’t take long after she begins gliding across the dance floor that Karen Talcott forgets she has Parkinson’s disease. Her physical symptoms, including stiffness, pain and tremors on the right side of her body, quickly evaporate once she focuses on the music in her almost daily dance classes. She also breaks other shackles brought on by Parkinson’s. “The dancing also helps with fear, anxiety and depression,” Talcott said. “It’s the best medicine ever for this thing.”
New research led by scientists at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and Northwestern Medicine appears to back her claim. They found that high-intensity exercise three times a week is not only safe for people with early-stage Parkinson’s disease, it also decreases the worsening of motor symptoms.