Surprising new therapy reversing the effects of Parkinson's

A surprising new treatment is helping sufferers of Parkinson's Disease to not only pause the effects of the illness, but even to reverse them.

Researchers in the United States have found that riding a bike is helping patients stop the symptoms of the disease.

It can even do something medicine can't: slow the disease's progression.

Jud Stover has suffered from Parkinson's for the past seven years, but it doesn't slow him down.

Jud Stover says Parkinson's isn't slowing him down. Photo: 7 News

He doesn't have tremors, he doesn't have muscle stiffness, his feet don't shuffle when he walks and it's all thanks to the new cycling therapy.

"I said: 'well it's not curable, but if you can slow it down even more and better by doing this stuff, sign me up'," Mr Stover said.

Mr Stover during a cycling therapy session. Photo: 7 News
Patients say the therapy is a big help. Photo: 7 News

Experts discovered cycling can help increase certain proteins in the brain, which help movement and cognitive function.

Researcher Jay Alberts said the cycling "changes the brain's functioning" in a similar way to being on medication.

"When you have medication, you have an increased activation in this area," he said, pointing to a part of a brain on a scan.

Researcher Jay Alberts explains the therapy to a patient. Photo: 7 News

"You have a similar increase in activation following exercise, exercise is medicine."

To get the benefits, patients cycle three times a week, for 45 minutes at 80 to 90 RPMS.

Parkinson's patient Paul Shinoda said: "It was like turning on a light bulb and that was the difference between pedaling and not pedaling".

Parkison's patient Paul Shinoda has praised the cycling therapy. Photo: 7 News