Norman Doidge, M.D., FRCP is a Canadian-born psychoanalyst, psychiatrist, and author of The Brain That Changes Itself (2007) and The Brain's Way of Healing (2015).
“Christian Hageseth, MD, is one of several people I have met who were diagnosed by their physicians with Parkinson’s Disease, who have been able, through exercise, and stimulating the neuroplastic brain, to come off their Parkinson's medication, and are now functioning better than they were, owing to regular exercise. It’s a use-it-or-lose-it brain, and exercise is absolutely essential for people with Parkinson’s Disease. Many Parkinson's patients are not aware that they can manage exercise, because they have been told Parkinson’s is inevitably progressive. As well, one of the things that happens in the illness, is that the part of the brain the unconsciously informs us that a particular movement might be worth the effort, is damaged. So, they can’t imagine movement will help them, or be worth what seems like a massive effort. This is why people such as Dr. Hageseth have an important message: as a physician, he knows what patients are taught about the illness; as someone who managed to get his symptoms under control, he is can show others how he did so.
There are now probably thousands of people who have Parkinson’s Disease whose course has been improved by exercise. Perhaps Parkinson’s Disease will turn out to be a group of diseases, each with a different prognosis, some more susceptible to exercise than others. But so far, many can be helped with exercise, and whenever a single person is helped, the lives of that person’s relatives, friends and community is also affected for the better.”