Active-assisted cycling improves tremor and bradykinesia in Parkinson's disease

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2012 Nov;93(11):2049-54. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2012.05.015. Epub 2012 May 31.


Objectives: To develop a rapid cadence cycling intervention (active-assisted cycling [AAC]) using a motorized bike and to examine physiological perimeters during these sessions in individuals with Parkinson's disease (PD). A secondary goal was to examine whether a single session of AAC at a high cadence would promote improvements in tremor and bradykinesia similar to the on medication state.

Design: Before-after pilot trial with cross-over.

Setting: University research laboratory.

Participants: Individuals with idiopathic PD (N=10, age 45-74y) in Hoehn and Yahr stages 1 to 3.

Intervention: Forty minutes of AAC.

Main outcome measures: Heart rate, pedaling power, and rating of perceived exertion were recorded before, during, and after a bout of AAC. Functional assessments included tremor score during resting, postural, and kinetic tremor.

Results: This AAC paradigm was well tolerated by individuals with PD without excessive fatigue, and most participants showed improvements in tremor and bradykinesia immediately after a single bout of cycling.

Conclusions: This paradigm could be used to examine changes in motor function in individuals with PD after bouts of high-intensity exercise.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Bicycling / physiology*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Hypokinesia / etiology
  • Hypokinesia / rehabilitation*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parkinson Disease / complications
  • Parkinson Disease / rehabilitation*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Tremor / etiology
  • Tremor / rehabilitation*