Could playing table tennis help reduce Parkinson’s symptoms?

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Author: Saskia MairPublished: 5 March 2020

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The bearded man is playing table tennis or pingpong outdoors as recreation.

Researchers at Fukuoka University, Japan, have found that playing table tennis may help alleviate motor symptoms in Parkinson’s.

As part of the study, 12 people with Parkinson’s with an average age of 73 played a five-hour session of table tennis every week for a period of six months. The sessions were developed specifically for people with the condition by experienced table tennis players from the university’s department of sports science.

The participants were evaluated after three months and at the end of the study. At both evaluations, participants had reduced symptoms – showing improvement in speech, handwriting, walking and hand tremors. Two participants reported side-effects of backache and falling.

Study author Ken-ichi Inoue, MD, of Fukuoka University said: “While this study is small, the results are encouraging because they show ping pong, a relatively inexpensive form of therapy, may improve some symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. A much larger study is now being planned to confirm these findings.”


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