Playing table tennis may ‘slow down Parkinson’s disease because it sharpens patients’ reflexes’

Playing table tennis may ‘slow down Parkinson’s disease because it sharpens patients’ reflexes and stimulates their brain’

Five hours’ of playing time a week reduced tremors, limb rigidity and balanceScientists say sport could be used as a cheap and relatively safe physical therapyParkinson’s blights lives of more than a million in US and 145,000 people in UK

Playing table tennis may slow the progress of Parkinson’s disease, research suggests. 

Five hours’ of playing time a week reduced tremors, limb rigidity, slowness of movement and balance for at least six months.

Parkinson’s patients have a shortage of dopamine – a neurochemical key to motor function and memory – which exercise encourages the brain to produce.

Table tennis sharpens reflexes, stimulates the brain and improves hand-eye coordination, according to scientists from Fukuoka University in Japan.

They say the sport could be used as a cheap and relatively safe physical therapy for Parkinson’s, the second most common neurological condition – behind Alzheimer’s.

Playing table tennis for five hours a week may slow the progress of Parkinson’s disease, a study has found 

People with Parkinson’s don’t have enough of the chemical dopamine because some of the nerve cells that make it have died. This leads to problems with movement. 

It blights the lives of more than a million sufferers in the US and 145,000 people in the UK.

In 2016 Muhammad Ali died after a long battle with the disease and famous sufferers include Michael J Fox and Billy Connolly.  

The latest study involved 12 people with an average age of 73 with mild to moderate Parkinson’s who had been living with the disease for an average of seven years. 

Participants were tested at the start of the study to see which symptoms they had and how severe the symptoms were. 

They then played table tennis once a week for six months, with each session lasting five hours.

Parkinson's blights the lives of more than a million sufferers in the US and 145,000 people in the UK. In 2016 Muhammad Ali died after a long battle with the disease

Parkinson’s blights the lives of more than a million sufferers in the US and 145,000 people in the UK. In 2016 Muhammad Ali died after a long battle with the disease

WHAT IS PARKINSON’S? THE INCURABLE DISEASE THAT KILLED BOXER MUHAMMAD ALI 

Parkinson’s disease affects more than one in 500 people, and around 145,000 people in the UK live with the condition.

Figures also suggest one million Americans also suffer.

It causes muscle stiffness, slowness of movement, tremors, sleep disturbance, chronic fatigue, an impaired quality of life and can lead to severe disability.

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