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Complementary therapies in medicine




BACKGROUND: Recent evidence suggests that high-speed, low-resistance stationary cycling training (termed as speedwork) alleviates motor symptoms in people with Parkinson's disease. Similar motor symptoms commonly exist in people with schizophrenia (Sz); however, they were neglected in the previous literature.

OBJECTIVES: Our objective was to evaluate if speedwork could also be used as a strategy to improve parkinsonian motor symptoms in Sz. We aimed 1) to evaluate the adherence and acceptability of speedwork in Sz, 2) to assess test-retest reliability of the motor assessments that are novel to Sz research, 3) to evaluate the effectiveness of speedwork in improving parkinsonian motor, and 4) psychiatric symptoms in Sz.

METHODS: Ten Sz outpatients with concurrent parkinsonian motor symptoms completed 12 sessions (2 sessions/week) of speedwork training. Participants were evaluated on motor functioning and psychiatric symptom severity twice before (double baseline) and twice after (post-completion and 6-wk follow-up) the speedwork training.

RESULTS: The adherence to speedwork was high (92 %) and the results of exercise acceptability questionnaire indicate participants found various domains of exercise highly acceptable (overall average 4.49/5). There were improvements in various domains of motor symptoms including, walking speed, functional mobility, static and dynamic balance, and upper extremity motor function after the completion of training (all p < 0.025), with many of these improvements remaining at the 6-wk follow-up. Moreover, there was evidence for improvement in positive psychotic symptoms after the completion of speedwork (p < 0.025).

CONCLUSIONS: Speedwork training could be an acceptable and effective strategy to improve motor and psychiatric symptoms in Sz.


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