Cleveland Clinic has received a $3 million grant to study the effects of high-intensity aerobic exercise on Parkinson’s disease, as was reported in EurekAlert!
Investigator Jay Alberts, PhD, received the 5 year $3 million award to conduct a multi-site clinical trial to study the long-term effects of aerobic exercise on slowing the progression of Parkinson’s disease.
The CYCLE trial
Called the “CYClical Lower Extremity Exercise for Parkinson’s trial” the new study aims to determine if long-term, high-intensity aerobic exercise can slow the advancement of Parkinson’s disease, a progressive neurological disease. To date, no surgical or pharmacological intervention has been effective in slowing the disease’s course. The project will be the first long-term investigation of the potential for aerobic exercise to arrest progression.
Cleveland Clinic and University of Utah will recruit 250 Parkinson’s patients who will be randomized to a high-intensity home exercise or usual and customary care (UCC) group. The CYCLE Trial exercise group will utilize indoor cycling bikes from fitness technology company Peloton. Participants will be instructed to exercise 3x/week for 12 months; the UCC group will be instructed to engage in their normal activities. The exercise and control groups will undergo identical motor and non-motor evaluation protocols at enrollment, 6, and 12 months.
This research will build upon previous work done by Alberts and his team. They recently completed a 100-person in-laboratory randomized clinical trial, and results showed an 8-week high-intensity aerobic exercise program significantly improved global motor function and specific aspects of walking and cognitive function in patients with Parkinson’s. These positive outcomes provide strong rationale to evaluate effectiveness of a long-term CYCLE protocol in a home-based setting to impact a greater number of people with Parkinson’s disease.