Laurier announces new exercise focused study


On November 23, the Laurier research centre announced participation on an international trial investigating the potential for exercise to slow progression in Parkinson’s.

This study has significant potential in validating the role that exercise plays in managing Parkinson’s. Further details on the study and how people in Ontario and Alberta can participate will be available in the new year.

Researchers at Wilfrid Laurier University are collaborating on a new Phase 3, multi-site clinical research trial to test if high-intensity treadmill exercise is more effective in decreasing the signs of Parkinson’s disease in individuals who have not initiated medication for Parkinson’s. This is the first time high-intensity endurance exercise is being studied across a large number of sites in both the U.S. and Canada, and in a diverse population.

The trial, called SPARX3, will be led by researchers at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Laurier’s Movement Disorders Research and Rehabilitation Centre will be one of 29 research sites across North America, and one of only two in Canada. Researchers will enroll 370 participants diagnosed with Parkinson’s, age 40 to 80, randomly assigned to either moderate-intensity or high-intensity exercise treadmill training. They will exercise for 18 months, four times a week for 30 minutes under close supervision, and then be followed for another six months.

“We are delighted that Laurier is the largest recruitment site, responsible for nearly 20 per cent of all recruitment in this multi-site trial,” says Quincy Almeida, director of the Movement Disorders Research and Rehabilitation Centre. “We are thrilled that exercise is being recognized as an important therapy for Parkinson’s disease.”

Read the full story on Wilfrid Laurier University’s website.

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