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Effects of Punching Out Parkinson’s Boxing Program on Quality of Life in Parkinson’s Disease Patients

Parkinson disease is the second most common neurological disorder worldwide. People with Parkinson disease (PwPD) suffer from a progressive worsening of their functional mobility and overall motor abilities as evidenced by reduced muscle strength, balance, speech and respiratory function. These impairments ultimately reduce the quality of life and psychosocial well-being of PwPD. Rehabilitative exercise is a vital part of disease management for PwPD as exercise shows favorable improvements in their functional status. An exercise intervention that has grown in societal interest in recent years is Punching out Parkinson’s (PoP) Boxing – a multimodal, community-based exercise class that trains strength, balance, hand-eye coordination, and aerobic conditioning in PwPD. Despite the growing interest and enrollment in PoP classes, the implementation has outpaced the available evidence of its effectiveness. Our current project addresses this critical gap by evaluating objective measurements of motor function in a group of PwPD before, during, and after one year of engagement in the boxing program. The expected outcomes of this work will demonstrate that a yearlong engagement in PoP Boxing will improve multiple areas of motor function, effectively slowing PD progression. Additionally, these results will provide healthcare professionals with evidence-based exercise recommendations for their PD patients.

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