Interval, Active-Assisted Cycling Improves Motor Function but Does Not Alter Balance in Parkinson’s Disease

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Emily J. Ryan
Edward J. Ryan
Corey A. Peacock
Angela L. Ridgel


tremor, Balance, Exercise


Introduction: Previous work in our lab has demonstrated that a single bout of active- assisted cycling improves tremor and bradykinesia associated with Parkinson’s disease. The purpose of the present study was to determine if an interval, active-assisted cycling intervention improves motor function and balance in individuals with Parkinson’s disease. Methods: Twenty-seven individuals (8 females, 19 males) with Parkinson’s disease volunteered to participate in the study. Subjects were randomly assigned to either a cycling or control group. The cycling group completed 40 min of interval, active-assisted cycling three times per week for four weeks. The Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS Motor III scale) and the modified Clinical Test of Sensory Integration and Balance test were completed at baseline and following the four-week intervention. Results: The UPDRS scores (upper body motor function, lower body motor function, tremor, bradykinesia, posture and gait) improved (p = 0.01) following the intervention while balance remained unchanged. Conclusions: These data demonstrate that a four-week interval, active-assisted cycling program improves motor symptoms, specifically tremor and bradykinesia, in the upper and lower extremity but does not alter balance in individuals with Parkinson’s disease.

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