Original article| Volume 93, ISSUE 11, P2049-2054, November 2012

Active-Assisted Cycling Improves Tremor and Bradykinesia in Parkinson's Disease


      Ridgel AL, Peacock CA, Fickes EJ, Kim C-H. Active-assisted cycling improves tremor and bradykinesia in Parkinson's disease.


      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.


      Before-after pilot trial with cross-over.


      University research laboratory.


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


      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.


      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.


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

      Key Words

      List of Abbreviations:

      AAC (active-assisted cycling), BWSTT (body weight–supported treadmill training), CI (confidence interval), PD (Parkinson's disease), RPE (rating of perceived exertion), rpm (revolutions per minute), UPDRS (Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale), V̇o2max (maximum oxygen consumption)
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