Researchers look to exercise as possible medicine to slow Parkinson’s disease

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There is no medicine or surgery we have today that can effectively slow Parkinson's disease, but maybe an "exercise prescription" will

(WYTV) – Many of us have resolutions to exercise more in the new year but one Ohio woman is motivated beyond burning calories. She pedals to keep her Parkinson’s disease under control.

Exercise is medicine for 62-year-old Sally Terrell.

Research at the Cleveland Clinic strongly suggests riding a bike can help with the neurological disorder. The idea is to pedal with vigor.

“If someone is pedaling at a relatively high rate, the change in the brain function looks very similar to the change that you see after you give someone anti-Parkinson medication,” Dr. Jay Alberts said.

Sally is part of a second trial, using a stationary bike at home for a year. She rides at least three times a week and wears a sensor so researchers can monitor her activity and function.

The goal is to understand how long-term, high-intensity exercise may slow the progression of Parkinson’s.

There is no medicine or surgery we have today that can effectively slow Parkinson’s disease, but maybe an “exercise prescription” will.

The study has two phases, each five years. It’s in the second phase now.

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