It’s still Parkinson’s disease awareness month… and today we’re taking a look at how local survivors are beating the odds by using their muscles.

According to the National Institutes of Health, Almost 500,000 Americans live with Parkinson’s Disease, which is a degenerate disease of the brain that can affect mobility due to the loss of dopamine in the brain. While the disease affects mobility, a local neurosurgeon says there is a cool form of therapy that helps.

“In addition to regular treatment like physical therapy, there are some exercises like boxing that they can virtually make all the moves like a boxer would, and you gotta be pretty coordinated to be able to do that, and its a fun time, not boring or repetitive,” said Dr. Reina, Luis

Every Tuesday and Friday from 1:30 until 3 in the afternoon, survivors and loved ones gather at The Lawton Family YMCA to engage in exercise warmups and boxing

Parkinson’s typically develops after age 60 and symptoms for every person differ. But five to 10 percent of people, like Geoff Buhlig, have been diagnosed with it by age 50.

“For me, the initial diagnosis was somewhat concerning. It was like what does this mean? Things weren’t working like they use to. I couldn’t brush my teeth or even work on my computer like I had been,” said Buhlig.

He added the boxing course helped him loosen up and it’s a great way to help survivors get active.

Dr. Luis explained it’s unclear what triggers the degeneration of the brain that causes people to lose dopamine, but thankfully classes like the one at the YMCA in Lawton help expose survivors to healthy living choices that can positively affect their health.

Copyright 2023 KSWO. All rights reserved.