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Cycling is less affected than walking in freezers of gait
  1. Anke H Snijders1,
  2. Mirjam van Kesteren1,2,
  3. Bastiaan R Bloem1
  1. 1Department of Neurology and Parkinson Centre Nijmegen, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
  2. 2Department of Neurology, Isala klinieken Zwolle, Zwolle, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Professor Bastiaan R Bloem, Parkinson Centre Nijmegen, Department of Neurology, 935, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, PO Box 9101, 6500 HB Nijmegen, The Netherlands; b.bloem{at}

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We recently described two patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) who presented with severe freezing of gait (FOG), but who also manifested a remarkably preserved ability to ride a bicycle.1 2 Following these publications, we have been approached by many patients who reported a similar discrepancy between severe gait difficulties and an often striking ability to ride their bicycle. Stimulated by these anecdotes, we carried out a semistructured interview with 53 consecutive outpatients with PD (diagnosed according to the UK Brain Bank Criteria). This interview was based on predefined questions about FOG, the ability to cycle and any subjective experience of ‘freezing’ during cycling (operationally defined as intermittent blockades of one or both legs during cycling). The precise question was ‘Have you ever experienced the feeling of being glued, or experienced freezing or blocks of the legs, while you were riding your bicycle?’ This question was asked by an interviewer with considerable experience with FOG, and more clarification was given if necessary. Also, when a subject answered positively, additional detailed questions were asked to confirm with more certainty that this was truly freezing. We excluded eight …

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  • Funding This study was supported by the Prinses Beatrix Fonds, and by a research grant of The Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (BRB: VIDI research grant #016.076.352; AHS: AGIKO research grant #92.003.490).

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval Need for ethical permission was waived, as the study only involved a structured interview.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.