Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
First Committee Member
Frank van Breukelen
Second Committee Member
Third Committee Member
Fourth Committee Member
Fifth Committee Member
Number of Pages
Outside of finding a cure, one of the preeminent goals of research in Parkinson's disease (PD) is finding a neuroprotective treatment that when applied prior to the onset of the disease will decrease the risk and severity of the subsequent disease. One such treatment that has potential as a neuroprotective agent in PD is exercise. Several studies have found forced exercise to be protective of Parkinson's disease in adult rodent models; however, few of these studies have used a design wherein voluntary exercise was evaluated. Moreover, no study has used a true neuroprotective design in which exercise was applied prior to disease onset and throughout the life of the animal. Therefore, the focus of this dissertation was to further explore the role of a preconditioning of exercise, both forced and voluntary, in a 6-hydroxydopamine-induced hemiparkinsonian rat model. The research approach adopted in this dissertation included a randomized control design of forced and voluntary exercise (i.e., treadmill and running wheel) applied before and after neurotoxin-induced hemiparkinsonism. Motor behavior tests were used to assess the outcomes. The findings from this dissertation provide evidence that exercise, either forced or voluntary, does not provide any neuroprotective benefit in terms of protection from Parkinsonian motor signs and forelimb asymmetry. The collective results of this dissertation cast doubt on the current body of the literature on exercise neuroprotection in PD and suggest that the notion that exercise is neuroprotective is premature.
Exercise; Forced exercise; Neuroplasticity; Neuroprotection; Parkinson's disease – Treatment; Voluntary exercise
Biology | Exercise Science | Motor Control | Neurology | Neurosciences | Physiology
Landers, Merrill Russen, "Exercise-induced neuroprotection in a hemiparkinsonian 6-hydroxydopamine rat model" (2012). UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones. 1588.