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Boxing exercises help Parkinson's patients

Posted at 1:40 PM, Mar 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-08 08:02:10-05

It is a brutal disease with no known cure, Parkinson's affects up to 1 million people in the United States. 

Doctors diagnosed as many as 60,000 new cases each year, but a non-contact boxing class at Life Care Center in Elkhorn is helping local patients. The program is one of 540 across the world run by Rock Steady Boxing. 

Studies have shown that boxing helps with the mind-body connection and improves balance, hand-eye coordination, strength and endurance. 

"It started in Indianapolis with a person with Parkinson's who had a boxing background. We brought it to Omaha because we have an interdisciplinary Parksinson's program here," Cheri Prince from the Elkhorn Life Care Center said. 

When you hear the words "boxing" and "Parkinson's" together, you probably don't think positive. Legendary boxer Muhammad Alit was diagnosed with Parkinson's in 1984 because of boxing-related brain injuries. 

But these boxers won't participate in bouts with each other. Instead, there will be exercises like shouting to conquer their soft voice syndrome and sparring for coordination.