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High-intensity interval training in people with Parkinson’s disease: a randomized, controlled feasibility trial

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Ailish O'Callaghan, Dr Richard DavidsonORCiD, Professor Richard Walker


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© The Author(s) 2018. Objectives: To investigate whether people with Parkinson’s disease can exercise at a high-intensity across a 12-week intervention and to assess the impact of the intervention on cardiorespiratory fitness. Design: This is a randomized, controlled, feasibility study with waiting list control. Assessors were blinded to group allocation. Setting: The intervention took place at an exercise centre and assessments at a district general hospital. Subjects: This study included 20 people with idiopathic Parkinson’s disease. Intervention: A total of 36 exercise sessions over 12 weeks, with each session lasting ~45 minutes, were conducted. Main measures: The main measures were maximal heart rates achieved during exercise, recruitment rate, attendance, drop-out, change in peak oxygen consumption, cardiac output, cognitive function and quality of life. The study was considered technically feasible if participants achieved ⩾85% of maximal heart rate during exercise. Results: There were 12 male and 8 female participants; they had a mean age of 68.5 years (standard deviation 6.825). Two participants were of Hoehn and Yahr stage I, 11 stage II and 7 stage III. In all, 17 participants completed the intervention. The median (interquartile range) proportion of repetitions delivered across the intervention which met our high-intensity criterion was 80% (67% to 84%). Mean peak heart rate was 88.8% of maximal. Peak oxygen consumption increased by 2.8 mL kg−1 min−1 in the intervention group and 1.5 mL kg−1 min−1 in the control group after 12 weeks of exercise. We estimate that a fully powered randomized controlled trial would require 30 participants per group. Conclusion: High-intensity interval exercise is feasible in people with Parkinson’s disease. Improvements in cardiorespiratory function are promising.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Harvey M, Weston KL, Gray WK, O'Callaghan A, Oates LL, Davidson R, Walker RW

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Clinical Rehabilitation

Year: 2019

Volume: 33

Issue: 3

Pages: 428-438

Print publication date: 01/03/2019

Online publication date: 04/12/2018

Acceptance date: 02/11/2018

ISSN (print): 0269-2155

ISSN (electronic): 1477-0873

Publisher: SAGE Publications Ltd


DOI: 10.1177/0269215518815221


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