ELKHORN, Nebraska (CBS) A new program to help Parkinson's patients continues to gain ground around the country
These boxers are training to deliver a counterpunch the neurological disorder. They won't participate in bouts with each other, but exercises like shouting and sparring help patients like George Moon battle their symptoms. "I have seen a backward progressive with the disease, so I am going to stick with it about as best as I can," Moon said.
This program at Life Care Center in Elkhorn, Nebraska, is one of is one of 540 programs across the world run by Rock Steady Boxing.
"Started in Indianapolis with a person with Parkinsons who had a boxing background. We brought it to Omaha because we have an interdisciplinary Parksinsons program here," said Cheri Prince, who runs the local program.
Studies have shown that boxing helps with that mind body connection, improving things like balance, hand eye coordination, strength, and endurance.
"We studied people over a two-year period who participated in boxing and we didn't see any progression of the disease in the people that boxed," said Stephanie Combs-Miller with the University of Indianapolis.
"I just moved up from Kansas City so I have just been doing it here," said Mike Mandell, a patient. "It's a good way to exercise and unwind, taking out the days frustrations."
Mandell is new to this group. Each exhibit a range of Parkinson's symptoms from mild to severe. But that doesn't matter here. Gloves on or off, everyone here is in the fight together. "The comraderie between the boxers is just great," Moon said.