A Chicago Hospital Is Finding That Martial Arts Can Help Patients With Parkinson’s Disease

By Averi Clements 

It’s no secret that sports — and martial arts in particular — can help even perfectly healthy people develop better balance and coordination, and now, a hospital in Chicago is trying to see just how much martial arts can benefit patients with Parkinson’s disease.

Fox 32 Chicago reports that a clinical trial at Rush University Medical Center had patients with Parkinson’s disease practice karate twice a week for ten weeks. Throughout the study, doctors found that patients who practiced karate were falling less often. Being taught how to properly fall was also beneficial to the study participants.

While Parkinson’s disease currently has no known cure, medication and aerobic exercise has been shown to reduce its symptoms. Given the additional physical, mental, and social benefits of martial arts, it makes sense that practicing karate in a group setting could help people living with Parkinson’s improve their quality of life.