Senior citizens fighting back against Parkinson’s

METAIRIE, La. --  More than a million people are diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, growing at a rate of 60,000 people diagnosed each year, according to the Parkinson's Disease Foundation.

Although there is no cure for Parkinson's Disease, there are ways to slow down some of the symptoms.

Triumph Krav Maga, located on the West Bank and in Metairie, sponsors a class aimed to help seniors battling the disease.

Yes, boxing does help, according to certified Rock Steady Boxing coach Tom Douglass.

"Because boxers are training for the same thing that hurts the Parkinson's person, balance and core strength," Douglass says. "We also use a boxing curriculum which works on a lot of core work. They might be on balls (balancing), jumping over rope,.

Rock Steady Boxing is a nonprofit organization that gives hope to those living with Parkinson's disease by working on particular exercises that improve balance, focus, hand-eye coordination, speed, and more. A lot of these exercises involve hitting a punching bag and being focused. Most of the seniors that attend the class do see improvement within a month.

Bob Shaw, a student of Rock Steady, says he sees improvement in his memory and has also witnessed others improvements.

"One of the guys we worked with on the West Bank ... his son had to help him up the stairs. He walks up and down the stairs by himself right now," Douglass says.

Triumph Krav Maga offers Rock Steady Boxing classes 3 days a week at $65 a month.