A research study at Hollywood Private Hospital will investigate the impact of exercise program PD Warrior on patients with Parkinson’s Disease.
The PD Warrior program involves intensive exercises designed to re-train the brains of people with the nervous system disorder. The specific exercises aim to improve mobility and function in order to help participants gain better control over their movements.
The research project will look at the quality of life of participants and objective measures, such as mobility and balance, before and after they take part in the PD Warrior program.
The study is being conducted by Hollywood neurologist Dr Julian Rodrigues and neurological physiotherapist Claire Tucak.
Ms Tucak said the PD Warrior program had the potential to be a game-changer for patients with Parkinson’s.
The program involves:
- Neuro active exercise – which may help to re-wire the brain and may be neuro-protective. Specific exercises encourage the brain to make new connections, which improves mobility.
- Tailored exercises – participants do specific exercises, depending on their stage of Parkinson’s, to better manage their condition.
- Comprehensive rehabilitation – PD Warrior uses a combination of physical and cognitive activities designed to improve physical and mental fitness and boost self-confidence.
Ms Tucak said despite the popularity of the PD Warrior Program, there were no published studies on the outcomes of the therapy.
“We hope the comparative data we collect in this pilot study will confirm the good outcomes we have seen so far with the program,” she said.
“A stronger evidence base defining the objective benefits will allow patients and doctors to make an informed decision as to whether to participate.
“Our study will provide data on both subjective and objective outcomes before and after a 10-week PD Warrior program.
“The results are expected at the end of the year.”
More PD Warrior instructors were recently trained at Hollywood to help deliver the program.
Twenty new patients with Parkinson’s Disease, who have not previously done the PD warrior program, are being recruited to take part in the study.
The PD Warrior program has been running for four years at Ramsay Health Plus Hollywood at the Nedlands campus.
“The program continues to expand, with more exercise classes added to the schedule due to demand,” Ms Tucak said.
“Some participants have been attending weekly classes for a few years.”
Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative neurological condition that affects sufferers’ ability to control their movements. In Australia, it affects 100,000 people, with 38 people diagnosed every day.
The research project is funded by the Hollywood Research Foundation.