Life, Love, Relationships + Parkinson’s Disease

Kim & Rich Rosek

This week (first week of March 2012), Kim and Rich Rozek — the husband/wife team behind PD Talk Live!— are debuting a new weekly reality podcast on living with Parkinson’s Disease (PD):

Drawing on their experiences (since Rich was diagnosed with early-stage Parkinson’s circa 10 years ago,) the “Life, Love, Relationships and Parkinson’s” podcasts will give the couple’s personal perspective on living a high quality life and maintaining a successful marriage as they’ve navigated their family’s PD voyage.

Since Kim and Rich have “been there, done that,” they’re uniquely qualified to provide insights worth hearing.

To hear the podcasts and learn more about/and from Kim & Rich visit their Parkinsons.me website. Be sure to follow Rich on Twitter: @pdtalker.

Given that people are riding Theracycles across the country to alleviate their Parkinson’s symptoms, we look forward to listening!

New Parkinson’s Disease Therapy eBook

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

Click here to register and download our eBook to learn more about forced exercise or to share what you’ve learned with your doctor.

Boston Herald on Theracycle: “Parkinson’s sufferers will reap benefits”

Fans of the Theracycle will want to read this just-published (2-15-12) article written by Boston Herald business reporter Brendan Lynch titled “Exercise Bike Reinvented– Parkinson’s sufferers will reap benefits”  featuring an interview with Peter Blumenthal.

Read on below or see the article at the BostonHerald.com website at  bit.ly/wPBTRa

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Boston Herald
Exercise bike reinvented
Parkinson’s sufferers will reap benefits

By Brendan Lynch            Wednesday, February 15, 2012
http://www.bostonherald.com  |  Technology Coverage

 

Article URL: http://www.bostonherald.com/business/technology/general/view.bg?articleid=1403672

A Franklin company bought out of bankruptcy in 2002 has landed federal funding for its “forced exercise” technology — motorized exercise equipment — to help treat people suffering from Parkinson’s disease.

“It sounds counter-intuitive,” Theracycle CEO Peter Blumenthal told the Herald. “Why would you ever use an exercise bike with motors? But you can overcome the motors as you regain strength.”

Theracycle won a $200,000 Small Business Innovation Research grant to modify its bike to replicate a therapeutic effect caused by tandem bicycle riding discovered by a Cleveland Clinic study.

In August, the company plans to apply for a Phase II SBIR grant, which could be as high as $2 million, to prove the bike would be effective in treating Parkinson’s.

People with Parkinson’s or other mobility-limiting conditions, such as multiple sclerosis, stroke, cerebral palsy or spinal cord injuries, often don’t exercise at all because it’s so difficult, which exacerbates their condition.

“(Exercise) gives the same benefit a healthy individual gets, except it’s much more important,” Blumenthal said. “Since their bodies are so decimated, they get secondary conditions, like Type 2 Diabetes, poor circulation, stiffness.”

Blumenthal once owned the retail chain Frame King, but sold it in 1998 for “between $5 million and $10 million.” In 1999, he was struck by a car in Newton while riding a bike. He broke his neck, but was not paralyzed.

“When I started rehab I found it was impossible to use traditional exercise equipment,” he said. “I couldn’t do it.”

In 2002, a friend told him about The Exercycle Co. He bought the 60-year-old Rhode Island company out of bankruptcy for $150,000, moved it to Franklin, and changed its name to Theracycle to reflect its new status as a medical device.

The company, with about eight employees, is moving toward profitability, Blumenthal said, and sells the bikes to homes and hospitals for $3,000 to $5,500.

Blumenthal is confident in Theracycle’s market opportunity — there are 1.5 million people with Parkinson’s disease in the United States.

“If we could get 1 percent of that market, that’s 15,000 bicycles,” he said. “That becomes a $75 million business.”

Article URL: http://www.bostonherald.com/business/technology/general/view.bg?articleid=1403672

Copyright: Boston Herald

Resource Guide for Young Onset Parkinson’s

While the average age of onset of PD is estimated at 60 years of age, between 5-10% of Parkinson’s patients contract “Young Onset” Parkinson’s disease (between the ages of 20 and 50).

The American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA) is the only Parkinson’s association in the U.S. with a Center dedicated to meeting the needs of those with young onset Parkinson’s disease.

The Theracycle Blog went to Julie Sacks, LCSW — Director, APDA National Young Onset Center in Winfield, IL (USA) for her advice and insights for the YOPD population:

Julie shares this comment:

“Discovering that you have Parkinson’s disease, especially when you are young, is overwhelming. Even if you’ve suspected it for some time (and it’s a relief to finally know what you’re dealing with) a confirmed diagnosis is still a shock and many people don’t know where to turn for support.”

In addition to educating people about the disease itself, the APDA National Young Onset Center ( http://www.youngparkinsons.org) has an online Resource Guide that consists of low-cost or no-cost programs and services available to help people manage other areas of concern such as: healthcare, mental health, insurance, employment, disability and finances.  It is easily accessible online at www.youngparkinsons.org/resource-guide.

This Resource Guide was created in order to direct people with Parkinson’s to reliable, affordable services. It was also designed to be interactive, so don’t hesitate to share your experience(s) with currently listed resources or recommend new ones.  The more involved the community is in growing the Resource Guide the more helpful it will be.

Julie let us know that members of the Center’s staff are also available Monday – Friday (9am-5pm CST) to discuss resources by phone at 877- 223-3801.

Beyond its informative website and Resource Guide, YoungParkinsons.org also maintains the excellent Young Parkinson’s Blog and publishes a free monthly eNewsletter.

Dedicated since 1961 to “ease the burden and find a cure for Parkinson’s disease,” the APDA is a major leader in research/education/public education and support for patients and families with PD. The Theracycle Team highly commends the APDA and its National Young Onset Center for their good works, and recommends their helpful resources and tools.

 

Contact Congress Today to Save SBIR

Call or Email Congress NOW to Save SBIR

If you’ve been following the Theracycle Blog, you may know that we recently received a hard-to-land NIH-SBIR grant to fund research and product development of new Theracycles to benefit people with Parkinson’s disease..

What you may not know (but should)–  is that the 30 year old SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) program is a political hot potato on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Of real concern to us is the possibility of the expiration of SBIR programs on December 16, 2011!!

For all of you who share our belief in the importance of continued federal funding of SBIR, please read this urgent appeal from U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu with her clarion call for us to call or email our U.S. Representative to express our strong support to save SBIR…

Please Tweet this message to “Contact Congress Today to Save SBIR”  http://bit.ly/v01T87

Continue reading

Theracycle: Part of Boston’s Leadership in Life Sciences

Theracycles "Made in Massachusetts" Help Drive Life Sciences Innovation

An 11/29/11 article in Mass High Tech titled “Report: Boston area is top U.S. life sciences hub” cites research from real estate services firm JonesLaSalle that
rates the metropolitan Boston area as the #1 region for established and emerging life sciences businesses (in comparison to other parts of the United States).

An excerpt from the JonesLaSalle 2011 Global Life Sciences Cluster Report reads “The [Boston] area enjoys seven times the number of workers in biotech R&D than the national average.” The area has more than 85,000 high-tech research employees and more than 340,000 hospital and medical employees.

The Mass High Tech article notes the Report “also highlights Massachusetts as the recipient home of 13 percent of all National Institutes of Health funding, with five of the top eight NIH-funded hospitals in the U.S. and the top five NIH-funded universities.”

As an NIH-funded Massachusetts small business, The Exercycle Company is proud to be part and parcel of the Boston-area’s preeminence as the top region for life sciences in the country.  While our operations might be considered small in comparison to some of the med-tech giants that operate in the Bay State — growing demand for our Theracycle (which powers proven exercise therapy for Parkinson’s disease), shows that we’re movin’ up!

Exercise: Particularly beneficial to Parkinson’s patients

In a recent NetDoctor article titled Exercise can be particularly beneficial to Parkinson’s patients” Dr. Michelle Gardner, research development manager at Parkinson’s UK, claimed that, although exercise is beneficial for everyone, it can offer extra advantages for those suffering from Parkinson’s.

Referencing research conducted by the UCSF School of Nursing and Red Hill Studios,  Dr. Gardner said “Many people with Parkinson’s struggle with gait and balance, and playing specially adapted computer games like those mentioned in the study holds real promise for assisting people with Parkinson’s to improve their coordination, regain confidence and become more physically active in day to day life.”

In recently winning its coveted NIH Grant for a Theracycle-driven regimen for Parkinson’s patients, the Theracycle team is building on the success of earlier research.

In 2010, the Red Hill Studios/UCSF Partnership received an NIH grant for $1.1 Million for computer-based physical therapy games for patients with PD. and cerebral palsy.

Fun and Games. Exercise and Health.

 

 

Cycling Aids Parkinson’s Diagnosis and Treatment

While The Theracycle Blog has principally focused on how stationery cycling can provide therapeutic benefits to people who live with Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders, recently published research from a Japanese university suggests that the ability to ride a bicycle can help doctors determine whether the patient has Parkinson’s disease or atypical parkinsonism.

It’s somewhat ironic (I think) that research shows that cycling (of some kind), helps both in the diagnosis and the treatment of Parkinson’s symptoms.

Cycling Diagnoses Parkinson's Disease as Well as Treats Read a news story on Cycling Helps Parkinson’s Diagnosis from PressTV

Interestingly, the Wakayama Medical University “diagnosis of PD” study was also posted this week as a discussion topic in one of the excellent online public Forums hosted by the National Parkinson’s Foundation.

The person who posted that story, Kathrynne Holden, MS — is  a Registered Dietition specializing in Parkinson’s disease and nutrition.

Kathyrnne’s new book “Eat Well, Stay Well with Parkinson’s Disease” is available for download as a PDF from her website:  http://www.nutritionucanlivewith.com/

Her book and the Daily Tips on Parkinson’s nutrition on her site. are worth checking out. We look forward to introducing Kathyrnne to how riding a Theracycle has improved the lives of thousands of patients.

News: Theracycle driving Small Business Innovation

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.

See our October 17, 2011 Press Release… Continue reading