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Exercise prevents Parkinson's symptoms in lab model mimicking human form of the disease

that, while 40 percent of the nerves in the SN of non-exercising mice died following MPTP injection, only 5 percent of those cells died in animals that had experienced sustained exercise for at least three months.

In a subsequent study, the St. Jude team found that exercise alone could account for virtually all of the protective effect of the enriched environment.

"Future studies might show that sustained exercise can also stop the progression of Parkinson's disease in adult humans," said Ciaran Faherty, Ph.D., first author of the paper and a former postdoctoral researcher in Smeyne's lab. "If exercise is started early enough, it might be possible to prevent the neurons from dying in the first place. It will be important to find out how much exercise is effective." Other authors of the paper are Kennie Raviie Shepherd and Anna Herasimtschuk.


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Contact: Bonnie Cameron
bonnie.cameron@stjude.org
901-495-4815
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
14-Oct-2004


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