Association between physical activity and dementia’s risk factors in patients with Parkinson’s disease

Mohammad Alwardat, Tommaso Schirinzi, Giulia Di Lazzaro, Giulia Maria Sancesario, Donatella Franco, Paola Imbriani, Paola Sinibaldi Salimei, Sergio Bernardini, Nicola Biagio Mercuri, Antonio Pisani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Evidence suggests that physical activity (PA) exerts beneficial effects on neurodegenerative processes, either as symptomatic relief or disease-modifying strategy. Actually, it may represent a viable neuroprotective intervention in Parkinson’s disease dementia (PDD), a severe, frequent, and untreatable complication of Parkinson’s disease (PD). According to such hypothesis, this cross-sectional study tested, in PD patients, the association between levels of PA and well-known risk factors for PDD, such as mood disorders and amyloid-β42 CSF content. Amount of PA was measured by the International Physical Activity Questionnaires—Short Form (IPAQ–SF) in 128 cognitively intact PD patients and correlated with the Hamilton-Depression (HAM-D) and the Hamilton-Anxiety (HAM-A) scores; in a homogenous subgroup of 40 patients, it was further correlated with a panel of CSF biomarkers, including amyloid-β42, total α-synuclein, total, and phosphorylated tau. The statistical model was corrected for the main potential confounding factors (motor impairment, dopaminergic treatment, disease duration, age, and sex). Both the HAM-A and HAM-D scores, as well as the Aβ42 CSF content, improved in parallel with the increase of the total week amount of PA. Although with several limitations, we preliminarily demonstrated that a high level of PA is associated with a more favourable profile of PDD risk factors, in terms of both mood disturbances and CSF markers of neurodegeneration. However, confirmative studies are necessary to validate the efficacy of PA as protective intervention for PDD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-325
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neural Transmission
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 14 2019


  • CSF biomarkers
  • Frailty
  • Neuroprotection
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease dementia
  • Physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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