02 April 2010

Bicycling With Parkinson's ~ Smashing Results!

Thanks to Gina Kolata of the NYTimes for spotting that Cycling Provides a Break for Some With Parkinson’s pointing to the remarkable realization about Cycling for Freezing of Gait published in the New England Journal of Medicine by Anke Snijders and Bastiaan Bloem of the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition, and Behavior at Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center in the Netherlands. Their patient, a 58-year old man...
"...had Parkinson’s disease for 10 years, and it had progressed until he was severely affected. Parkinson’s, a neurological disorder in which some of the brain cells that control movement die, had made him unable to walk. [... But the man said] ‘Just yesterday I rode my bicycle for 10 kilometers’ [...] I said, ‘This cannot be,’ Dr. Bloem, a professor of neurology and medical director of the hospital’s Parkinson’s Center, recalled in a telephone interview. 'This man has end-stage Parkinson’s disease. He is unable to walk.' [...] We helped him mount the bike, gave him a little push, and he was gone,' Dr. Bloem said. He rode, even making a U-turn, and was in perfect control, all his Parkinson’s symptoms gone."
This is a powerful illustration of both the complex subtleties of our brains and how much we have to learn and neuroengineer. And it's a triumphant exhibition of the power of exploration and vitality!

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