New research suggests cycling can help Parkinson’s sufferers

Parkinson’s patients may be able to combat the effects of the illness by cycling, new research has claimed. 

Scientists found that cycling encouraged connectivity between the the brain and regions linked with the disease. 

Parkinson’s patients may be able to combat the effects of the illness by cycling, new research has claimed. 

Scientists found that cycling encouraged connectivity between the the brain and regions linked with the disease.

However the research showed that it had to be vigorous forced pedalling to encourage the benefits, which are thought to be improved coordination and balance. 

A US based Doctor carried out the research after riding a tandem across Iowa with a patient to raise awareness of the disease. 

He said he noticed improvements in the patients condition after the ride had been completed. 

“The finding was serendipitous,” said Dr Alberts, who carries out the majority of his work at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute. 

“She had improvements in her upper extremity function, so we started to look at the possible mechanism behind this improved function.”

Dr Alberts led a team of skilled scientist who carried out brain scans on 26 Parkinson’s patients using a technique known as Functional Connectivity Magnetic Resonance Imaging (FcMRI).

The patients were then instructed to take sessions on exercise bikes, three times a week for two months. 

Some of the patients pedalled at their own pace while others were forced to cycle faster by motors attached to the bikes.

Dr Kieran Breen, who is the director of research at Parkinson’s UK said, “This new research adds to the growing body of knowledge which suggests that cycling may be beneficial for people with Parkinson’s.”

“While it is too soon to encourage people with Parkinson’s to get on their bikes three times a week on the basis of this study, we do know that exercise can be beneficial.”

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