Active-Assisted Cycling Improves Tremor and Bradykinesia in Parkinson’s Disease

A. Ridgel, C. Peacock, E. Fickes, C. Kim
Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2012 Nov;93(11):2049-54

Abstract

Objective

To develop a rapid cadence cycling intervention (active-assisted cycling [AAC]) using a motorized bike and to examine physiological perimeters during these sessions in individuals with Parkinson’s disease (PD). A secondary goal was to examine whether a single session of AAC at a high cadence would promote improvements in tremor and bradykinesia similar to the on medication state.

Design

Before-after pilot trial with cross-over.

Setting

University research laboratory.

Participants

Individuals with idiopathic PD (N=10, age 45-74y) in Hoehn and Yahr stages 1 to 3.

Intervention

Forty minutes of AAC.

Main Outcome Measures

Heart rate, pedaling power, and rating of perceived exertion were recorded before, during, and after a bout of AAC. Functional assessments included tremor score during resting, postural, and kinetic tremor.

Results

This AAC paradigm was well tolerated by individuals with PD without excessive fatigue, and most participants showed improvements in tremor and bradykinesia immediately after a single bout of cycling.

Conclusions

This paradigm could be used to examine changes in motor function in individuals with PD after bouts of high-intensity exercise.


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