Bicycling improves Parkinson's Disease

Interesting summary of recent research, summarized by The Atlantic:

It's commonly known that Parkinson's Disease is a chronic, progressive, disease of central nervous system that affects motor ability -- its recognizable early stages are characterized by shakiness and difficulty walking. No cure exists, which is why back in 2003, the best Dr. Jay Alberts of the Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute rode a tandem bicycle across Iowa with a Parkinson's patient (to raise awareness). Unexpectedly, the patient showed improvements in her condition after the trip. In what now much be common lore at the Institute, Alberts attempted to explain the inexplicable by noticing that his own pace was faster than that of his partner, who was forced, by the cruel mechanics of tandem cycling, to pedal faster in order to keep up. 

Researchers followed up by designing a study where Parkinson's patients rode stationary bicycles, some at their own chosen rate and some with an apparatus that forced them to pedal at a cadence higher than their chosen rate.  Those forced to pedal at a higher rate showed significant improvement compared with the control group.

The full text of the original article from the Radiological Society of North America is here.

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