University of the Sunshine Coast
A new USC study from an exercise physiologist aims to discover the potential benefits of walking in water versus walking on land for people with early-stage Parkinson’s disease.
Sarah Latif, a 2010 USC Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science graduate, is conducting the Masters research after 10 years of work in her private practice across the Gympie region.
“Parkinson’s is a neurological disorder that is becoming more common and patients are advised to walk,” she said.
“In the case of non-motor symptoms such as neurogenic orthostatic hypotension (low blood pressure when changing posture), however, there is a lack of knowledge about specific exercise measures and aquatic rehabilitation.
“This hypotension can lead to dizziness, increased risk of falls, fatigue and neck / shoulder pain.”
Ms. Latif plans to screen 60 participants in the USC pool and USC trails three times a week beginning in August to assess the effects of walking in the water compared to walking on land on these symptoms.
“I will also investigate whether both types of walking relieve anxiety, depression, insomnia, fatigue, pain, and apathy, which are other common non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease that contribute to decreased quality of life,” she said.
The Caloundra resident said she was inspired by peers she worked with in the area.
“I spent 10 years rehabilitating patients with a variety of chronic and acute illnesses through exercise.
Anyone with Stage 1 or 2 Parkinson’s Disease interested in participating can call 0434 178 547 or email [email protected]
Her research is led by Associate Professor Suzanne Broadbent, Director of Clinical Exercise Physiology at USC, and Lecturer Dr. Sonja Coetzee looks after.
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