Evaluation of the effects of Exergaming on neuronal plasticity in Parkinson’s disease

Takeaway

  • Six weeks of Exergaming resulted in an increase in left hippocampal volume in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) and increases in peripheral blood brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels in both PD patients and healthy controls (HC).

Why this matters

  • Several studies have shown a relationship between increases in hippocampal volume, cognitive improvement, and increased BDNF levels after exercise, with increasing evidence supporting positive benefits of exercise in people with PD.

  • Exergaming – combining computer games with physical activity – has been shown to improve both motor and non-motor symptoms.

  • Results from this study suggest that Exergaming may have a positive impact on hippocampal volume, in addition to providing motivation to exercise for people with PD, creating a potential new avenue to cognitive improvement in these patients.