October 12, 2011

Cycling Puts New Spin on Parkinson Disease

For the first time ever, a Suncoast event is combining breakthrough research with futuristic fitness to raise money for one of the area’s most urgent causes. Cyclists will take a virtual spin through gorgeous terrain at the YMCA’s high-tech cycling center during the Pedaling For Parkinson’s Cycle-A-Thon. It happens on Saturday, November 5th, 2011, from 8 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the YMCA’s Frank Berlin, Sr. Branch located at 1075 South Euclid Avenue, Sarasota.

Ten teams will participate in the four-hour cycling event, where they’ll hop on top-of-the-line Schwinn bikes in front of a huge video screen in the YMCA’s new cycling center, complete with Blu-Ray technology. Every pedal stroke will raise cash for Neuro Challenge Foundation, which provides services for the 15,000 people on the Suncoast who struggle with Parkinson Disease. The incurable brain condition robs patients of the ability to move, eat and think clearly.

This event comes after breakthrough research revealed that cycling can relieve the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. Neuro Challenge Foundation is bringing the man who made that discovery to Pedaling for Parkinson’s. Dr. Jay Alberts of the Cleveland Clinic will present his breakthrough and explain how you can apply the finding in your own life. Several other physicians will also present lectures on the latest in Parkinson’s treatment. In addition, the YMCA’s fitness staff is now working with Neuro Challenge Foundation and medical advisor Dr. Dean Sutherland to develop a specialized program for Parkinson’s patients.

Parkinson's disease is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system. It results from the death of dopamine-containing cells in the substantia nigra, a region of the midbrain; the cause of cell-death is unknown. Early in the course of the disease, the most obvious symptoms are movement-related, including shaking, rigidity, slowness of movement and difficulty with walking and gait. Later, cognitive and behavioral problems may arise, with dementia commonly occurring in the advanced stages of the disease. Other symptoms include sensory, sleep and emotional problems. PD is more common in the elderly with most cases occurring after the age of 50. Parkinson’s experienced national attention when actor Michael J. Fox was diagnosed several years ago.

Neuro Challenge Foundation provides free support services and education to Parkinson patients and their families on the Suncoast. For more information contact Doreen Sutherland at doreen@neurochallenge.org, or call The Sarasota Family YMCA at 941-955-8194.

About Neuro Challenge Foundation: The Neuro Challenge Foundation (NCF) is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life of people with Parkinson Disease and their caregivers through service, education and research. Their flagship program, Parkinson Partners, provides one on one advice for patients. Call 941-926-6413 to enroll, free of charge. NCF funds programs and activities that promise to ease the burden of Parkinson Disease through patient-centered professional education, community forums and scientific and clinical research. Patients, caregivers and nationally recognized scientific experts advise us and lead the way as we invest in the science and services that will lead to a cure. For more information, please call (888) 623-4483 or visit www.neurochallenge.org.