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Variability in severity and progression of Parkinson's disease symptoms makes it challenging to design therapy interventions that provide maximal benefit. Previous studies showed that forced cycling, at greater pedaling rates, results in greater improvements in motor function than voluntary cycling. The precise mechanism for differences in function following exercise is unknown. We examined the complexity of biomechanical and physiological features of forced and voluntary cycling and correlated these features to improvements in motor function as measured by the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS). Heart rate, cadence, and power were analyzed using entropy signal processing techniques. Pattern variability in heart rate and power were greater in the voluntary group when compared to forced group. In contrast, variability in cadence was higher during forced cycling. UPDRS Motor III scores predicted from the pattern variability data were highly correlated to measured scores in the forced group. This study shows how time series analysis methods of biomechanical and physiological parameters of exercise can be used to predict improvements in motor function. This knowledge will be important in the development of optimal exercise-based rehabilitation programs for Parkinson's disease.
Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:21 , Issue: 3 )
Date of Publication: May 2013