Pacing Toward Progress: Dr. Daniel Corcos’ Trailblazing Research Reveals Exercise’s Potential to Slow Parkinson’s Disease Progression

TORONTO, April 8, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Nearly one million people in the U.S. are currently living with Parkinson’s disease (PD), a figure expected to surge to 1.2 million by 2030. As the second-most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer’s disease, PD affects nearly 90,000 individuals annually in the U.S. Globally, over 10 million people are grappling with PD. While the risk of PD increases with age, an estimated four percent of PD cases are diagnosed before the age of 50. Moreover, men are 1.5 times more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease than women.

Three recent studies, suggests that endurance exercise may offer a significant breakthrough in Parkinson’s treatment in that the suggest that exercising at 80% of maximum heart rate may slow disease progression. Dr. Daniel Corcos was a Principal Investigator on one of the three studies.

Dr. Daniel Corcos’ findings emphasize the fundamental role of exercise as a therapy while stressing the importance of offering programs in community settings as it both motivates and empowers individuals to take control of their disease. He also underscores the therapeutic benefits of resistance exercise to sustain cognition and reduce the symptoms of Parkinson’s. However, there has not yet been a definitive study conducted to determine if high-intensity or moderate-intensity exercise is more effective in slowing disease progression.

In response to this critical question, Dr. Corcos launched a phase 3, multi-site clinical research trial. This trial aims to investigate the efficacy of high-intensity treadmill exercise for Parkinson’s patients who have not yet initiated medication. High-intensity exercise entails maintaining a heart rate of 80 to 85 percent of maximum capacity for a 30-minute period, four times weekly.

Spanning two years, the study meticulously monitors participants for the initial 18 months, providing comprehensive supervision and support. Subsequently, participants undergo an additional six months of observation to evaluate their ability to sustain exercise independently.

Dr. Corcos underscores the indispensable role of aerobic exercise in Parkinson’s treatment, citing evidence suggesting its potential to slow disease progression. While both moderate- and high-intensity aerobic exercises offer health benefits, the study aims to ascertain which intensity yields superior outcomes for Parkinson’s patients.

“The question we want to answer is whether there is a benefit to exercising at the higher intensity in terms of slowing down the rate at which (Parkinson’s) disease progresses. No drug has been shown to slow down the rate at which the disease progresses.” – Dr. Daniel Corcos (as cited in a Northwestern Medicine article).

The key to success is in finding which activity most appeals to the people to ensure frequency and continuity of the exercise regime. This groundbreaking trial spans multiple sites across the U.S. and Canada.

For further insights into Parkinson’s disease, please refer to the publication available at 

More information about Dr. Corcos research and Northwestern Medicine 

For more information on the study and participating locations, please visit

Additionally, Dr. Corcos discusses the therapeutic benefits of exercise for Parkinson’s patients in an episode of the Urban Poling Podcast Series, accessible via Urban Poling Spotify here.

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About Dr. Daniel Corcos: Dr. Daniel Corcos, PhD, is a professor of physiotherapy and human movement sciences and is renowned for his significant contributions to Parkinson’s disease research and the crucial role that exercise plays in delaying the progress of the disease.

SOURCE Dr. Corcos