An information session for a non-contact boxing exercise trial for Parkinson’s disease was held recently for a group of patients and carers at the Niche in Nedlands.

The boxing trial is expected to begin in the first half of 2021.

Clinical Professor David Blacker, Perron Institute Medical Director, led the session, providing information on the study, latest research in the area and helpful advice.

Professor Blacker has a highly personalised point of view as a specialist neurologist and also having been diagnosed with Parkinson’s.

He and the study team are passionate about finding further treatment options for Parkinson’s, a disease which currently has no cure.

Professor Blacker is a strong advocate for exercise, highlighting how it has significantly helped to reduce his symptoms. However, he is concerned about the risk of injury if people with Parkinson’s do exercises such as boxing incorrectly.

“In the literature, there is a big gap in our knowledge as we just don’t have the data at the moment,” Professor Blacker said.

“I think we’re in an exciting phase and have the opportunity to provide the evidence base required to show the benefit of boxing as an exercise therapy for people with Parkinson’s.”

Other members of the study team spoke enthusiastically to the captivated audience. Former Golden Gloves boxing champion and fitness instructor Rai Fazio provided expertise on why boxing movements are perfect for Parkinson’s patients.

From Edith Cowan University, physiotherapist and researcher Dr Travis Cruickshank and PhD student Mitchell Turner explained what the study involves, and how their expertise in exercise science will be used.

The recent information session was supported by Parkinson’s WA. Another session is planned for early 2021. For more information, please email us.