Getting hot and heavy under the sheets could bring more than just feelings of pleasure for those suffering from Parkinson’s with new research revealing the benefits sex can have on disease symptoms.
A study undertaken by Salerno University in Italy and Imperial College London has found having an active sex life can significantly reduce the severity of Parkinson’s symptoms and lead to a better quality of life.
In Australia alone, there are more than 80,000 people living with the disease which can cause muscle rigidity, tremor, postural instability and slowness of movement.
As part of the research, published in the European Journal of Neurology, 355 patients suffering from the early stages of Parkinson’s were monitored over a two year period with factors such as their sex life identified.
It was found those who actively engaged in sex had less motor problems and lower depression scores. While it did not by any means cure the disease or reduce symptoms overall, sex was linked to milder disease progression in men.
Researchers noted that there were not many women involved in the study as one of the requirements was for them to have been sexually active in the previous year, which they weren’t.
Due to the positive results, it was recommended that specialists should inquire about their patients’ sexual life more.
Meanwhile, Dr Beckie Port has encouraged those with Parkinson’s to also keep up a regular exercise regime to help build strength and flexibility.
Writing for blog site Medium recently, the doctor explained while being physically active is beneficial for all, it is especially helpful for Parkinson’s patients whose movement becomes slower and smaller as the disease progresses.
“Whether you have Parkinson’s or not, a regular exercise routine can help you maintain, if not build, the strength and power in your muscles, the flexibility in your joints, keeping you generally fit and mobile,” Port said.
“And it’s not just good for your body – exercise can also help keep your mind healthy, improve your mood and help you sleep so that you can cope better with the challenges living with Parkinson’s may bring.”
She added: “Researchers have found that vigorous exercise seems to protect the dopamine-producing nerve cells that are being lost, helping them work better and survive for longer. This could potentially slow down the progression of your symptoms— something no current treatment can do.”
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