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Fast cycling can help Parkinson’s Disease patients strengthen brain connectivity for motor ability

Exercise Rate Related to Improvements in Parkinson’s Disease (RSNA release):

“People with Parkinson’s disease benefit from exercise programs on stationary bicycles, with the greatest effect for those who pedal faster, according to a study presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA). Functional connectivity magnetic resonance imaging (fcMRI) data showed that faster pedaling led to greater connectivity in brain areas associated with motor ability…The patients underwent bicycle exercise sessions three times a week for eight weeks. Some patients exercised at a voluntary level and others underwent forced-rate exercise, pedaling at a speed above their voluntary rate. The researchers used a modified exercise bike to induce forced-rate activity. “We developed an algorithm to control a motor on the bike and used a controller to sense the patient’s rate of exertion and adjust the motor based on their input,” Dr. Alberts said…Dr. Alberts noted that that while faster pedaling led to more significant results, not all Parkinson’s patients need to do forced-rate exercise to see improvement.”

Study: Exercise Therapy for Parkinson’s Disease: Faster Pedaling is Related to Greater Improvement in Motor Connectivity

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