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106. Feasibility & effects of high-speed low-resistance cycling intervention on Parkinsonian symptoms and health in schizophrenia
Parkinsonian motor symptoms (bradykinesia, diminished postural control, and poor balance) are found commonly in people diagnosed with schizophrenia contributing to serious injuries or fatalities that occur with falls. First-generation antipsychotic medications can induce (or exacerbate) these symptoms although some individuals show evidence for motor anomalies without antipsychotic exposure. The use of anticholinergic medications to treat motor symptoms may be associated with undesired cognitive and peripheral side-effects (e.g., blurred vision, constipation, tachycardia) and are not recommended for long-term use. Therefore, there is a strong need to develop alternative strategies to improve motor dysfunction. The current study will present pilot data on a 6-week exercise intervention in outpatients (n=12) with schizophrenia-spectrum diagnoses with concurrent motor symptoms. Participants will engage in 30 minutes of pedaling on a recumbent bike with 20 bouts of high speed pedaling designed to elicit high rates of neural stimulation. The resistance of the bike was set at the lowest possible level in order to keep musculoskeletal loading minimal. This paradigm has previously shown effectiveness in improving gait and postural stability in people with Parkinson’s disease. Results will examine pre-post motor functioning of upper and lower extremities and other potential changes related to increased physical activity on health variables.