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An 8-Week Low-Intensity Progressive Cycling Training Improves Motor Functions in Patients with Early-Stage Parkinson’s Disease

Hsiu-Chen Changa, Chin-Song Lua, Wei-Da Chioub, Chiung-Chu Chena, Yi-Hsin Wenga, Ya-Ju Chang

Background and Purpose: The effects of high-intensity cycling as an adjuvant therapy for early-stage Parkinson’s disease (PD) were highlighted recently. However, patients experience difficulties in maintaining these cycling training programs. The present study investigated the efficacy of cycling at a mild-to-moderate intensity in early-stage PD.

Methods: Thirteen PD patients were enrolled for 16 serial cycling sessions over a 2-month period. Motor function was assessed using the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale part III (UPDRS III) and Timed Up and Go (TUG) test as primary outcomes. The Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), modified Hoehn and Yahr Stage (mHYS), total UPDRS, Falls Efficacy Scale, New Freezing of Gait Questionnaire, Schwab and England Activities of Daily Living, 39- item Parkinson’s Disease Questionnaire, Patient Global Impression of Change, and gait performance were assessed as secondary outcomes.

Results: The cycling cadence was 53.27±8.92 revolutions per minute. The UPDRS III score improved significantly after 8 training sessions and more significantly after 16 training sessions TUG duration was significantly shorter after 16 serial cycling. Total UPDRS, double limb support time, and mHYS (in both the off- and on-states also improved significantly after 16 serial cycling.

Conclusion: Our pioneer study demonstrated that low-intensity progressive cycling exercise can improve motor function in PD, especially akinesia.

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