Treadmill exercise tests in persons with Parkinson’s disease: responses and disease severity

Mon S. Bryant, George R. Jackson, Jyhgong Gabriel Hou, Elizabeth J. Protas

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    9 Scopus citations


    Background and aims: There is a paucity of information on cardiovascular responses with regard to the disease stage of Parkinson’s disease (PD) when using an exercise test. Our purpose was to examine whether cardiovascular responses to the treadmill exercise test differed among persons with PD who have different disease severity. Methods: Forty-five subjects with PD were studied (34 men and 11 women). The subjects underwent a treadmill exercise test using a modified Bruce protocol. Resting heart rate (HR), resting blood pressure (BP), maximal HR, maximal BP, exercise duration, maximum percentage HR and METs achieved after the treadmill exercise test were studied. Results: Seventeen subjects were in Hoehn and Yahr Staging Scale (HY) 2, 16 were in HY 2.5, and 12 were in HY 3. HR increased significantly in all three stages. Systolic BP increased significantly in the HY 2 and 2.5, but not the HY 3. Diastolic BP did not change in any stage. Resting HR was lower in the HY 2 compared to the HY 3 and resting systolic BP was higher in HY 2 compared to the HY 2.5. The three HY stages were not different in exercise duration, HR and BP responses, maximum percentage HR achieved, and METs achieved. Fatigue was a primary reason to discontinue the test. There were no fall incidents in any of the tests. Conclusions: Cardiovascular responses to the treadmill exercise test did not vary with disease severity. Treadmill exercise tests were safe to perform in persons with PD.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1009-1014
    Number of pages6
    JournalAging Clinical and Experimental Research
    Issue number5
    StatePublished - Oct 1 2016


    • Cardiovascular response
    • Modified Bruce protocol
    • Parkinson’s disease
    • Treadmill exercise test

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Aging
    • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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