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Overview

In 2018 Dr. Gustafson began offering an exercise program for individuals with early stage Parkinson's Disease.  In 2019 we now offer the program to those with early stage dementia.  Dr. Gustafson was trained at the premier exercise training facility for Parkinson's Disease located in the United States.  The training method uses many of the same  training methods a boxer might use in preparation for competition.  Be assured that the clients do not beat up on one another!  It is a non-contact method of training that takes advantage of high-intensity interval training as a part of the method.  

Rationale Behind the Method

Exercise has been shown to increase levels of brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) which promotes neurogenesis and increased synaptic connectivity.  Exercise also enhances cerebral blood flow.  These changes, along with increased strength, cardiorespiratory fitness and improved balance, may play a role in helping those with early stage dementia and Parkinson's better cope with the effects of their condition.

Acceptance Into the Program

Each client must obtain a referral from a physician, physician's assistant or nurse practitioner.  Were are currently accepting Parkinson's clients with a Hoehn & Yahr classification of 1 or 2.  We are currently accepting clients with dementia who are at a level of 3 or below on the Global Deterioration Scale for Assessment of Primary Degenerative Dementia.


Once an individual receives his/her referral a consultation will be scheduled.  At the consultation a series of pre-participation tests are administered to establish a baseline and a consent form will be completed.  A start date will be established for the client.  Classes are offered two days per week.


Each client will need to have his/her own set of boxing gloves and gel-wrap gloves prior to participation.  However, the client should wait until after the initial consultation before purchasing these items; Dr. Gustafson will make specific recommendations regarding the specifications for these items.

Rates

Clients may pay each time they attend a class at the rate of $15/class.  Before beginning a class, each client receives a pre-participation and follow-up evaluation at a non-refundable rate of $25 for each evaluation.


Clients may also purchase 10 sessions in advance for $99.  The pre-participation evaluation is included in the 10-session package.  The client is eligible for a follow-up evaluation with each 10-session package purchased, however re-evaluation is recommended at 4-6 month intervals.

FAQs

Q:  This is all new to me.  How can I know what it is like?  

A:  Contact Dr. Gustafson and he can provide an opportunity to observe some of the activities.


Q:  It's been a long time sine I've participated in any type of exercise.  Will I be able to keep up with others in the class?

A:  Keeping up with others is not the objective.  We start with your current ability level in mind.  We ask for, and expect, feedback from our clients throughout each class.  When the client needs a break, one is provided.  No client will be asked to do anything he/she feels is not safe.