Acceptability and effectiveness of a novel cycling training on the parkinsonian motor and psychiatric symptoms in individuals with schizophrenia: A pilot study

Mehmet Uygur, Rowan University
Thomas J. Dinzeo,

This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license.


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.