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.
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!!
Dr. Patrick Massey, MD, PhD— an Illinois-based physician is a practitioner of advanced medical and physical therapies that combine what he describes as “the best of traditional and non-traditional medicine.”
Medical director of Complementary and Alternative Medicine for the Alexian Brothers Hospital Network, Dr. Massey runs ALT-MED, a helpful website with a patient-focused approach with useful information and resources.
Here’s a recent article from Dr. Massey with his professional opinion on how “Parkinson’s patients could benefit from tai chi”…
One of the blogs on our blogroll is “About Parkinson’s Disease” — an online destination we stop by from time to time. Operated by Robert Rodgers, Ph.D –who launched Road to Recovery from Parkinsons Disease back in 2005, this blog highlights five years of continuous interviews with people who have Parkinson’s Disease and which reveal there are many therapies that help people reverse symptoms.
Robert was inspired in his mission by the experience of his own mother who lost her battle with Parkinson’s in 1998. Since then Robert is on a daily path to search for natural therapies that are safe and cause no harmful side effects. As he puts it: “I hold the belief that the body knows how to heal itself. It just needs a little help remembering how.”
While I highly recommend you check out Robert’s book “Road to Recovery From Parkinson’s Disease”, and read the variety of posts on his excellent About Parkinson’s Disease blog, one of his many interviews with PD people stands out for me….
Nan Little’s 2011 description of the adventure she and her husband experienced climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro with a group including climbers with Parkinson’s disease and others with multiple sclerosis inspired us to republish it here on our blog.
Many have written about their path through Parkinson’s– Nan Little’s led to the summit of the tallest mountain in Africa and her encouraging words: “You don’t have to climb Kilimanjaro to be empowered…you can just get on a bike to experience freedom from some symptoms.”
Here from Robert Rogers’ blog is Nan Little’s memoir of her inspiring trip to the summit and beyond…
As you may know, The Theracycle is a motorized therapy bicycle uniquely designed for individuals with PD (and other movement disorders). Because the Theracycle is motorized, it allows individuals to easily maintain the consistent pedaling cadence of forced exercise therapy.
Research has shown that a therapy of assisted high-cadence cycling, referred to as “forced exercise,” significantly reduces the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
We’ve written and published an eBook that provides an overview of the Cleveland Clinic’s findings on forced exercise, as well as commentary from doctors and therapists about the therapy and their experiences.
This new eBook is titled: A New Therapy Brings Hope & Results to People with Parkinson’s Disease
From time to time the Theracycle team sends out articles and materials that we think may be informative and helpful. Recently, we created a new eBook titled “First-person accounts of people now living better with Parkinson’s disease.”
This new eBook details the personal stories of five people with Parkinson’s who’ve been riding a Theracycle and are experiencing the benefits of exercising on their Theracycle. They’re not only seeing substantial reductions in symptoms, but also improving their quality of life.
If you’re interested in getting a copy of the eBook, send me an email and I’ll be happy to send you one: firstname.lastname@example.org
In the meantime, for a preview of the eBook click here to read the personal story of one of the 5 people profiled: Dave Davenport
For those who don’t know of him, Colorado-based Davis Phinney is a retired professional cyclist (and 1984 Olympic medalist) who at the age of 40 was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s 12 years ago. A perpetual motion machine, Davis has led bicycle tours and conducted cycle-related fundraisers for PD research for many years.
In 2004, he founded The Davis Phinney Foundation (DPF), which is dedicated to helping people with Parkinson’s disease to “live well today,” through educational programs, events and, the funding of research focused on exercise, speech and other quality of life therapies.
For all these reasons, it is with great pride, that we share this first guest blog post from the tremendous team at the Davis Phinney Foundation — among the most dedicated and enthusiastic Parkinson’s exercise ambassadors we know!
In her article, Post reporter Alice Reid details results that medical researchers and Parkinson’s patients are seeing from regular, intense exercise (such as rowing and cycling)
The article notes that the National Parkinson Foundation “emphasizes exercise as an important tool to fight the disease,” and “The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research has funded close to $3 million in exercise research.”
Jay Alberts, the Cleveland Clinic researcher best known for his landmark work on “Forced Exercise” (cycling for Parkinson’s therapy) is quoted throughout the piece. A ‘just-completed study’ conducted by Alberts in which patients rode indoor bikes for exercise benefits is featured prominently.
One of the most fulfilling things about being part of our work is receiving unsolicited messages from customers on how Theracycle exercise has improved the quality of their lives.
Susie Feldmeyer of Pennsylvania has been living with progressive Multiple Sclerosis for 11 years, and wrote us recently saying:
“My life has changed IMMENSELY since receiving the Theracycle!! I have been on the bike everyday but one, and every single thing I do has changed for the better.”
When Susie’s nurse practitioner recently told her she loves her Theracycle so much she should sell them for us, Susie replied saying “If I could drive I would be going to every physical therapy and Neurologist office this side of Pennsylvania.”
Whether for MS, for Parkinson’s disease or stroke — Theracycle customers have weighed in with enthusiastic testimonials on benefits they’ve seen from Theracycle exercise. From people with movement disorders like spinal cord injuries, arthritis or obesity who are Theracycling at home, to physicians, physical therapists and fitness specialties who recommend it to their patients — the Theracycle is getting rave reviews and powering inspiring stories of individual determination!
While we try to be ‘non-commercial’ on The Theracycle Blog, we can’t resist sharing Susie Feldmeyer’s Theracycle Story, in her own inspiring words…