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Abstract

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative condition characterized by muscle tremors, rigidity and dyskinesis leading to balance and gait abnormalities that could alter physiologic responses during exercise. Locomotion on an aquatic treadmill (ATM) or anti-gravity treadmill (AGTM) may be a safe alternative to exercise on a traditional land treadmill (LTM) in those with PD. PUPROSE: To determine the acute cardiovascular and metabolic responses to three different modes of treadmill exercise in older adults diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. METHODS: Eight adults diagnosed with PD (68 ± 3 years of age) completed one exercise session on an LTM, one session on an ATM, and one session on an AGTM at 50% body weight. Participants walked from 1 to 3 mph in 0.5 mph increments at 0% grade during each exercise session. Heart rate (HR), energy expenditure (EE), systolic blood pressure (SBP), and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) were measured at rest and during steady-state exercise at each speed on each treadmill. Rate of perceived exertion was also measured during steady-state exercise. Rate pressure product (RPP) was calculated. RESULTS: All variables, with the exception of DBP, increased as speed increased across all treadmill modes (p < 0.001). Between treadmill modes across all speeds, EE was statistically different (p = 0.025). There was a significant interaction effect for mode and speed for HR (p < 0.001) and RPP (p = 0.003). At all speeds except 1.5 mph, HR was higher on the LTM versus the AGTM (p < 0.05). CONCLUSION: Exercising on an ATM or an AGTM elicits similar physiologic responses to exercise on an LTM in adults with PD

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