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
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.
A significant number of visitors to the Theracycle Blog have told us they want to learn more about “Forced Exercise” and how research on has shown that “Forced Exercise” (FE) can improve motor function in Parkinson’s disease patients.
An overview of the initial FE research is found in the Abstract of the 2009 article written by J.L, Alberts, A.L. Ridgel & J.L. Vitek researchers at the Department of Biomedical Engineering of the Cleveland Clinic for their article published in the July-August 2009 issue of Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair, the Journal of the American Society of Neurorehabilitation. Read the Abstract of the article and see the online link to that article here…
If you or someone you care about has Parkinson’s disease, you’ll be interested in reading a free new eBook on a successful new therapy that is helping people with PD substantially reduce their symptoms.
While part of the charter of this blog is to increase awareness of our motorized exercise bicycle (the Theracycle), we’ve also launched the blog to inform, assist, inspire and interact with people with movement disorders,
Twelve years ago, I was severely injured when I was hit by a car while on a bicycle training ride.
My neck was fractured and there was a possibility that I would be paralyzed. Miraculously, after many months, I was restored to good health. During those long months of rehabilitation, I discovered how difficult it was to use traditional exercise equipment. Initially, I just did not have the strength or endurance to get the exercise that I wanted or needed.
After my recovery, I heard about a motor-assisted exercise bicycle that allowed people who shared my frustration with traditional exercise equipment to be able to exercise. The name of that exercise device was the Theracycle and it was made by the Exercycle Company in a town not too far away from me.
I researched both the company and the industry. I was intrigued to find out that they made a great product but very few people knew of its existence. I then took the bold step to buy the company. My goal was to inform people just like me, who needed exercise but did not have the strength to use regular exercise equipment, that there were solutions to their exercise needs.
We’re excited to announce that our company has been awarded a coveted “Small Business Innovation Research” grant from the NIH to help advance our efforts to understand how using a Theracycle can help people who live with Parkinson’s Disease.
Jay L. Alberts, Ph.D. Edward F. and Barbara A. Bell Family Endowed Chair Department of Biomedical Engineering The Cleveland Clinic (Cleveland, Ohio USA)
While “Forced Exercise” sounds like something you’d have to endure as a member of a prison chain gang… it’s actually a very promising therapy introduced and validated by Jay Alberts, PhD — esteemed researcher at the Cleveland Clinic.
Dr. Alberts’ research and clinical trials have shown that cycling “done right” can significantly improve the conditions of people with Parkinson’s disease.
For more detail including video of a feature TV segment from NBC News on “Pedalling away Parkinson’s Symptoms” see our feature coverage of Cycling and Parkinson’s Disease.