Peter Blumenthal, CEO, The Exercycle Company:
I’m happy to welcome you to The Theracycle Blog.
While part of the charter of this blog is to increase awareness of our motorized exercise bicycle (the Theracycle), we’ve also launched the blog to inform, assist, inspire and interact with people with movement disorders,
Twelve years ago, I was severely injured when I was hit by a car while on a bicycle training ride.
My neck was fractured and there was a possibility that I would be paralyzed. Miraculously, after many months, I was restored to good health. During those long months of rehabilitation, I discovered how difficult it was to use traditional exercise equipment. Initially, I just did not have the strength or endurance to get the exercise that I wanted or needed.
After my recovery, I heard about a motor-assisted exercise bicycle that allowed people who shared my frustration with traditional exercise equipment to be able to exercise. The name of that exercise device was the Theracycle and it was made by the Exercycle Company in a town not too far away from me.
I researched both the company and the industry. I was intrigued to find out that they made a great product but very few people knew of its existence. I then took the bold step to buy the company. My goal was to inform people just like me, who needed exercise but did not have the strength to use regular exercise equipment, that there were solutions to their exercise needs.
Secondly, a few years ago, I met a researcher named Dr. Jay Alberts of the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. Like myself, Jay was an avid bicyclist. He had discovered by chance that, while riding on a tandem bicycle with a partner who had Parkinson’s disease, for some reason, that person’s PD symptoms improved dramatically after the conclusion of a ride. Based upon that discovery, he conducted a pilot study which proved that pedaling a bicycle at a very rapid rate significantly reduced the symptoms of test subjects who had Parkinson’s disease. Since it was not practical to conduct a larger follow on clinical trial with tandem bicycles, he contacted me about customizing a Theracycle to replace the tandem bicycles in his new studies. We modified a Theracycle for him and it is now being used in a longer and larger clinical study. It is comforting to know the anecdotal reports we had received over the years that the Theracycle had helped users with their PD symptoms was borne out by Jay’s research
Based upon the results of Jay’s research, my company applied for and was subsequently awarded a U.S. government grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to modify the Theracycle specifically for use by PD patients. These modifications will allow users with PD to more closely follow the exercise regimen developed by Dr. Alberts. In addition, the results of each work out will be able to be downloaded and later monitored by health care professionals.
Our team is dedicated to make people with PD and their families aware of Dr. Albert’s research and the fact that the use of the Theracycle will allow users to follow this breakthrough therapy for PD treatment.
Most importantly, we are launching this blog to get feedback from people with PD. What questions to you have about PD and exercise, what works for you, what are your greatest concerns, what issues would you like to see discussed?
This is your blog!
Help us make it a destination you’ll come back to again and again.