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March 04, 2013

Cycling Therapy for Parkinson's

In a study conducted at the Cleveland Clinic, a series of scans on the brains of 26 Parkinson’s patients who used exercise bikes three times a week for two months were taken.
Some patients  pedalled at their own pace, while others undertook ‘forced-rate’ cycling, in which they were made to pedal faster by motors fitted to their bikes.
The scans revealed pedalling, particularly vigorous pedalling, boosted connections between brain regions linked to movement.The results show that forced-rate bicycle exercise is an effective, low-cost therapy for Parkinson’s disease.The scientists are now studying how patients fare with exercise bikes in their homes. They also want to see whether other forms of exercise such as swimming and rowing have similar benefits.
The charity Parkinson’s UK welcomed the research, saying the balance and co-ordination can be badly damaged as the disease progresses.
However, it also cautioned that not all patients will be capable of exercising intensely.

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