Bicycling breaks the ice for freezers of gait

Mov Disord. 2011 Feb 15;26(3):367-71. doi: 10.1002/mds.23530. Epub 2011 Feb 1.


Patients with freezing of gait (FOG) have episodic problems with generating adequate steps. This phenomenon is both common and debilitating in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) or atypical parkinsonism. We recently presented a video case of a patient with longstanding PD and severe FOG, who showed a remarkably preserved ability to ride a bicycle. Here, we comment on the scientific and clinical implications of this single case observation, and show the video of a similar case. We first consider several pathophysiological explanations for this striking discrepancy between walking and cycling in PD. We then discuss the merits and shortcomings of cycling as a potential new avenue for rehabilitation and exercise training in patients grounded by FOG. Finally, we provide some directions for future research stimulated by this fascinating observation.

Publication types

  • Editorial

MeSH terms

  • Bicycling / physiology*
  • Exercise Therapy* / methods
  • Gait Disorders, Neurologic / physiopathology*
  • Gait Disorders, Neurologic / rehabilitation*
  • Humans
  • Parkinson Disease / physiopathology
  • Video Recording
  • Walking / physiology