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

Marguerite Harvey , Kathryn Weston, William K. Gray, Ailish O’Callaghan, Lloyd L. Oates, Richard Davidson, Richard Walker

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    Objectives: To investigate whether people with Parkinson’s disease can exercise at high-intensity across a 12-week intervention and to assess the impact of the intervention on cardiorespiratory fitness.
    Design: A randomised, controlled, feasibility study with waiting list control. Assessors were blinded to group allocation.
    Conclusions: High-intensity interval exercise is feasible in people with Parkinson’s disease. Improvements in cardiorespiratory function are promising.
    Setting: The intervention took place at an exercise center and assessments at a district general hospital.
    Subjects: Twenty people with idiopathic Parkinson’s disease.
    Intervention: Thirty-six exercise sessions over 12 weeks, with each session lasting ~45 minutes.
    Main measures: 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. Seventeen 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 randomised controlled trial would require 30 participants per group.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages11
    JournalClinical Rehabilitation
    Early online date4 Dec 2018
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Dec 2018


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