Creatine Supplementation and Exercise as Possible Therapeutic Treatments in Parkinson’s Disease: A Review

Scott Murray Graham, Marianne F Baird, Gary W Boyd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most common progressive neurodegenerative condition after Alzheimer’s Disease. It is characterized by a progressive loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra region of the brain. Symptoms and signs manifest as motor disorders affecting balance and physical capacity, and non-motor symptoms such as cognitive decline and mood disorders. People with PD face considerable difficulties coping with associated physical and psychological changes which affect their quality of life. The main form of treatment is pharmacological which alleviates some of the symptoms but does not slow the progression of the disease. Creatine monohydrate (Cr) may have therapeutic benefits in conditions where energy dysfunction and high rates of apoptosis are present. Cr supplementation may provide a protective effect by augmenting cytosolic high energy phosphate stores thereby prolonging the survival of ‘at risk’ cells in neurodegenerative diseases. Emerging evidence suggests supplementation may offer specific benefits in the treatment of mood disorders associated with PD. Many different types of exercise have shown efficacy in enhancing physical capacity, balance and quality of life. Recently, research has demonstrated the potential benefits of diverse modes of exercise such as aquatic exercise and boxing in PD. Combining exercise with Cr supplementation can enhance exercise induced muscular strength and power adaptations and may further improve exercise capacity and neuromuscular function. This review will critique evidence relating to the potential efficacy of Cr supplementation and exercise as a putative therapeutic approach in the treatment of the physiological and psychological challenges presented by PD.
Original languageEnglish
JournalArchives of Exercise in Health and Disease
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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