What would you pay to keep your Parkinson’s in check? What would you pay for more mobility and energy?

After dealing with some growing tremors in my right hand over a period of time, I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s about five years ago (I’m 75). I have been very active all my life and have run multiple marathons, but Parkinson’s was making my running difficult. I was unwilling to accept all the negativity surrounding my diagnosis so in researching the issue, I came across a paper done by the Cleveland Clinic that showed bike riding had positive effects on Parkinson’s symptoms. That led me to the Theracycle.

I ordered a Theracycle in June 0f 2014 and have been using it daily since. Because it is self-powered, you will cycle at the selected rate regardless of your effort which means you can cycle at a more rapid pace over an extended time than you might otherwise do on your own. And that is the key–the Cleveland Clinic study pointed out that a good pace provided the best results for Parkinson’s. The initial finding was done with a patient on a tandem bike and the Theracycle replicates that. Moreover, the positive effects remained for up to two weeks, so being away for a while is not a problem.

Since my diagnosis, I have been a patient at the Movement Disorder Clinic at the University of Utah. They have been amazed that I have remained stable over the last five years. It is said that Parkinson’s is progressive, but so far not in my case. And I have been able to reduce my medication which was already at a low level. I am certain that the Theracycle has played a role in that. I still run, but at a reduced level so the Theracyle fills in the gap for me. Plus, I can use it regardless of the weather. And I ski, hike, play piano, etc.

The Theracycle is very well made and whisper quiet. I had a problem with the motor recently and the people at Theracycle resolved the problem promptly and satisfactorily. Quality construction and excellent customer service—factors not often found in the exercise equipment business. Expensive? What would you pay to keep your Parkinson’s in check? What would you pay for more mobility and energy?

Jack Corneveaux
Utah

THERACYCLE… My “Wonder Drug”!

How easy it is to begin a day with an exercise program that gives me immediate satisfying results. I call it “instant gratification,” and that is what I experience when I use the Theracycle.

After experiencing months dealing with balance and gait issues, and suffering from many falls, in August of 2013 at the age of 68, I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. Medication was prescribed, which seemed to help, but I continued to have occasional minor falls. At this time, the presence of Bradykinesia, rigidity, and tremors in my left hand were subtle. As these symptoms became more noticeable in 2015, another medication was prescribed. This medication does help but is not always effective for me and may wear off sooner than expected.

Through friends and network television news stories, my husband and I became aware of a surprisingly new discovery for the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease… The Theracycle. Both of us were very skeptical, but out of curiosity, we decided to research the bike and subsequently ordered it in the spring of 2016. When the bike arrived, I immediately began a passive regimen each day of cycling for 20-30 minutes at 12 mph. Within 2-3 weeks, I experienced improvement in my balance and have had no falls since I began using the Theracycle.

Within the past six months, I have discovered that the Theracycle helps my medication become effective quicker and last a little longer between doses. I now cycle for 60 minutes each day (a 10 minute warm-up, 40 minutes of voluntary cycling at 15 mph, followed by a 10 minute cool-down). I wish I could say the Theracycle has replaced my medication, but that is not the case. However, riding it for 15 minutes or so will “jump start” a dose of medication that is taking longer than it should to relieve the uncomfortable symptoms of rigidity and Bradykinesia. The Theracycle has become my “break through” prescription when I am experiencing “off” times with my ropinirole and carbidopa/levodopa.

The Theracycle was a sizable investment for my husband and me, but the benefits have far outweighed the cost. During the past 12 months, walking two blocks at one time has increased to almost two miles. The tremors in my left hand are almost non-existent. My medications work more efficiently. I have been able to continue my work as a part-time pharmacist technician. My strength, mobility, endurance and energy have all greatly improved, and at an age of almost 72, I feel much healthier than I did one year ago. I contribute all of these quality of life improvements to the Theracycle… which I now call my “Wonder Drug”!

— Willodean H., High Point, NC

Exercise – It’s as Important as Your Prescriptions!

Per an article in today’s New York Times, a group of researchers from different institutions around the country recently concluded a clinical study with 128 subjects who had been newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD) within the last 5 years. These subjects were split into 3 different groups – one group did not exercise at all, one group exercised moderately, and one group exercised more intensely. The first two groups showed an increase in their PD symptoms after 6 months while the group who exercised intensely showed no increase in PD symptoms.

These positive results are very similar to research that has been done with PD subjects who have undergone a “Forced Exercise” regimen on either a tandem bicycle or a motorized stationary exercise machine. “Forced Exercise” is defined as riding a bicycle at a higher cadence (80–90 RPM’s) for a longer duration than a person with PD can do on their own. Functional MRI’s of these subjects after a “Forced Exercise” regimen have shown actual changes in brain function and improvement in their PD symptoms.

If a person with PD has the requisite strength and endurance to participate in an intensive exercise program, by all means they should be advised to do so. However, if they are not able to maintain such a program, following a “Forced Exercise” regimen on a motorized exercise bicycle may be able to replicate these same promising results.

Read the complete New York Times article »

Julie’s Mom Gets Agile

She used to go to the YMCA to ride the stationary bike just because she liked how it made her body feel. She liked to stroll down to the end of the road on a beautiful summer night because it was peaceful and made her appreciate where she lived. She loved her children but resented the fact that she couldn’t even get out of the chair to go to the bathroom let alone down the stairs to get her Sunday New York Times without asking for their help.

Like so many other people with severe obesity issues and joint pain and conditions like frailty from aging, Julie’s Mom went from being a self sufficient, mobile adult to slowly deteriorating into a prisoner in her own home, trapped by her body. She had been a person who thrived on the energy from activity. It was becoming increasing difficult to not be angry at life.

They purchased the Theracycle and put it on her deck, outside in the southern California air. The seat held her body in place. The straps on her feet secured her legs. The smart motor began to guide the motion of her body that hadn’t moved freely in such a long time.

She never would be the same young woman that could move easily without thought but eventually she regained some of the agility that she lost.  She would often spend part of her day with her newspaper on her back deck, feeling her legs move in a circular motion strengthening the muscles. It was a feeling she didn’t think she would ever have again. Not the same as young but not like a prisoner any more.

Sometimes Starting Is The Hardest Part

We all know that exercise is good for you both physically and mentally. But sometimes it is easier said than done. Most exercise equipment requires a certain level of health. Your arms and legs need to be able to support your body at least minimally. You need to be strong enough to remain stable.

But what if you can’t control your limbs because the pain is too much or the flexibility has been lost or you no longer have the strength to keep them in one place without help?  Something that seems like it should be so simple can be a huge undertaking if your body isn’t equipped to handle it.

The Theracyle is built to enable people to exercise who otherwise could not. The feet are secured to the pedals. The seat is built with clients who are not confident in their ability to maintain balance in mind. The Smart Motor helps move their legs, starting the process of regaining muscle tone and flexibility.  A regime designed around forced exercise is initiated and physical fitness through exercise is possible again.

It might be a little slow getting going, but at least it is going. Soon, muscles are strengthened and stretched. With that comes more stability and a better sense of balance. And you don’t even have to leave your house to do start on the road to fitness again.

 

James Gets Results

 

In 2010 James was told that he had a neurodegenerative disease, the same daunting news that so many of our customers  have had to come to terms with in their lives. He was also in a common position of being in control of the disease but just not fit in general. So he purchased a Theracycle,  a motor driven exercise bicycle designed for people with chronic movement disorders that uses forced exercise.

“The key to exercising is that it keeps me ambulatory.  My neurologist said that without the exercise, she would expect me to be in a wheel chair in two more years.  I don’t believe I am in danger of that any time soon.  I have never fallen since I got PD and I attribute that to the Theracycle.”

Now James is encouraging the VA hospital that he is affiliated with to purchase a Theracycle as well for other Parkinsons Disease patients that are in his situation.  He believes that, in his case, if he did not exercise and his disability advanced from 30% to 100%, his disability pay would increase far more than the cost of a Theracyle in a very short amount of time. Applying the number model that James determined for himself to other patients, he ascertains that it would be a proactive cost that could save money in the long run by curtailing the more expensive costs incurred with the 100% disabled.

We cannot tell you how much we appreciate James for taking the time to tell us about his progress. We wish him well with his goal to pay his results forward and to convince the hospital to acquire a Theracycle  for other patients as well. Thank you so much for reaching out to us and sharing your story, James!

 

April Is Around The Corner: The Parkinsons Unity Walk In Parkinsons Awareness Month

 Theracycle is by design proactive, giving the customer a positive tool in the fight against  the physical and mental challenges caused by neurodegenerative disorders. This is why the people at Theracycle love April.  It is the time of year that sheds the winter blues, ushers in the renewal of spring and, in the spirit of positive productivity during Parkinsons Awareness Month, brings on the Parkinsons Unity Walk.

The  Parkinsons Unity Walk takes place April 26 in the heart of New York City. Participants generally work in teams, supporting each other’s efforts to raise money during the fundraising process and then celebrating the spirit of community with a 1.4  mile walk through beautiful Central Park.  Last year the Unity Walk raised 1.7 million dollars with 100% of all donations going directly to Parkinson’s Disease research.  To donate or to find out other ways to contribute to this great event, check out www.unitywalk.org

Couldn’t ask for a better month!

 

Midwest Young Onset Parkinson Conference

While Parkinson’s disease most commonly hits patients later in life, it also impacts younger people. For that group of people and their families, Team Theracycle would like you to know about an Ohio event upcoming in mid-November 2012: The Midwest Young Onset Parkinson Conference.

Our friend, Julie Sacks, Director, of the APDA National Young Onset Center in Winfield, IL was kind enough to provide details below.

If you’re in the midwest, certainly worth attending. If not — please consider making a donation to support the Conference.

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The American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA) National Young Onset Center and the National Parkinson Foundation (NPF) will hold the 7th in a series of young onset conferences in Cincinnati, OH – November 16-17, 2012.

Yes, you did read that correctly, it is a conference for young people with Parkinson’s disease (PD).  Many people are still don’t think of the terms young and Parkinson’s as ones that go together, yet up to 15% of the  1.5 million Americans with the disease, are considered “young onset.”

What exactly does “young” mean when it comes to PD?  From a medical perspective, “young onset” is strictly defined as diagnosis under the age of 40. It is not uncommon, though, to see it defined as under the age of 50 (sometimes even 60).  As a general rule, people who are working full-time at the time of diagnosis will consider themselves “young onset.”

People with young onset Parkinson’s disease tend to experience a slower progression of the disease and a smoother course; however, they live with it for a much longer period of time than those diagnosed later in life. As a result, it is critical that young people with Parkinson’s disease and their families attend to issues such as long-term medication management, family relationships, and planning for the future from a financial and legal perspective.  The upcoming Midwest Young Onset Parkinson Conference will include presentations by experts in these areas and more.

The conference begins the evening of Friday, November 16, with a Meet and Greet Reception facilitated by local Parkinson’s advocate, Ben Contra, and featuring an “Ask the Doc/Open Mic – Q&A Session with Dr. Alberto Espay.  Friday night’s program will be interactive, offering participants an opportunity to meet others who, like them, are managing the disease at an early age.

The conference will continue with a full agenda of speakers on Saturday, November 17.  If you are interested in attending the conference, visit our Website to view the agenda or register now. For those unable to travel to Cincinnati, keynote presentations on Saturday will be Webcast live via the Internet.  Pre-registration for the Webcast is recommended.  Although the program is geared toward people with young onset Parkinson’s disease, much of the content is relevant to people of all ages with PD.

Both sponsoring organizations provide programs and services for people with Parkinson’s disease, their family members and healthcare providers.

For additional information, please contact the APDA National Young Onset Center at 877.223.3801/apda@youngparkinsons.org or the National Parkinson Foundation at 800.4PD.INFO/contact@parkinson.org.

Fun Summer Exercises for Young Students with Movement Disorders

When people think of the various movement disorders like Parkinson’s disease, they usually envision an elderly man or woman. After all, Parkinson’s is mostly common among people over the age of 50. However, young “college-aged” people—those roughly between 21 and 29—can get diagnosed with the movement disorder at their ages too.  While those with “young onset” Parkinson’s disease typically have a slower progression of the disease because they’re generally in a healthier state, young people can be active in slowing the progression and reducing the impact of PD symptoms through regular physical exercise. As an article on the website of the National Young Onset Center of the American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA) begins “The one of the most powerful tools….with which to fight PD and its degenerative nature.”

Not all exercise needs to be done within the confinements of a campus gym. To learn a few physical activities that can benefit you this summer, continue reading below.

Swimming

Let’s get the most obvious one out of the way first—a dip in the pool can help relieve you from the sun’s rays this summer, but it can also help relieve you of some of your movement disorder symptoms. Plus it’s free if you have access to a neighborhood pool or are fortunate to have one in your backyard. The true key to getting the most out of your swim however is periodically changing your strokes, speed, and opening and closing your eyes. This will not only help challenge and strengthen your motor skills, but this kind of physical activity can also increase your heart rate much quicker and help condition your lungs. Remember that sticking to lap swimming alone is not recommended because it forces you to be somewhat automated, which isn’t good for your condition.

Zumba

This Latin fitness dance craze can be found in just about every gym across America, but if you want to reap the health benefits while enjoying some fresh air, there are hundreds of instructors who teach their Zumba lessons outdoors at local parks. Do a little Internet searching and you’re likely to find one near you. Zumba is beneficial because it changes both tempo and direction, which is a type of exercise you need to properly enhance your motor skills. Warning: it can be a tad bit vigorous for some, but you don’t need to work at the same pace as other students.

Beach Volleyball

Last but not least is playing recreational beach volleyball. Like the other two forms of physical activity mentioned above, playing a light game of volleyball can help move and stretch various muscles in your body since it requires you to move around quite a bit.  Volleyball also helps with balance and adjustment. So the next time you take a trip to the beach, get in a game or two.

College Students with Parkinson's disease playing Volleyball

 

About the Author
Nadia Jones is an education blogger for onlinecollege.org. She enjoys writing on topics of education reform, education news, and online learning platforms. Outside of the blogging world, Nadia volunteers her time at an after school program for a local middle school and plays pitcher for her adult softball team. She welcomes your comments and questions at nadia.jones5@gamail.com.

 

 

 

Parkinson’s Unity Walk Coming Up April 28

As we hope you know, the Theracycle team is an active supporter or organizations and initiatives that support fundraising for research for treatments of Parkinson’s disease. In that vein, we’d like to share the news of the 18th annual Parkinson’s Unity Walk, which is upcoming April 28. Hope many of you can participate/donate. VERY worthy cause and an inspirational event!  Keep Moving!!

More details in the this press release…
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