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Pedal for Parkinson’s program at Mill Creek YMCA

By Kristi O’Harran, Herald Columnist

Mill Creek YMCA has a program modeled on a Seattle woman’s success in managing her disease.

In February 2008, at age 62, Nan Little was diagnosed with a mild case of Parkinson’s disease. Little researched the disease, including work by Dr. Jay Alberts at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. He documented how fast-paced bicycling helps with Parkinson’s symptoms.

According to the clinic, Parkinson’s disease is caused by a breakdown in nerve cells in the brain. The affected nerve cells do not produce enough dopamine, which affects a person’s ability to move the way they want to. Tremors, stiff muscles, slow movement, and trouble with balance or walking are all symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

In time, Parkinson’s affects muscles throughout the body, leading to difficulty swallowing, digestion, facial movements and sometimes dementia. Click here to read the rest of the article.

Research at the Cleveland Clinic showed a 35 percent reduction in symptoms after pedaling a bicycle at a rapid pace.


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