The effect of chronotropic incompetence on physiologic responses during progressive exercise in people with Parkinson’s disease.

Panassollo TRB; School of Clinical Sciences, Auckland, New Zealand.
Lord S; Rashid U; Taylor D; Mawston G;

European journal of applied physiology [Eur J Appl Physiol] 2024 Apr 29.
Date of Electronic Publication: 2024 Apr 29.

Purpose: Heart rate (HR) response is likely to vary in people with Parkinson’s disease (PD), particularly for those with chronotropic incompetence (CI). This study explores the impact of CI on HR and metabolic responses during cardiopulmonary exercise test (CPET) in people with PD, and its implications for exercise intensity prescription.
Methods: Twenty-eight participants with mild PD and seventeen healthy controls underwent CPET to identify the presence or absence of CI. HR and metabolic responses were measured at submaximal (first (VT1) and second (VT2) ventilatory thresholds), and at peak exercise. Main outcome measures were HR, oxygen consumption (VO 2 ), and changes in HR responses (HR/WR slope) to an increase in exercise demand.
Results: CI was present in 13 (46%) PD participants (PDCI), who during CPET, exhibited blunted HR responses compared to controls and PD non-CI beyond 60% of maximal workload (p ≤ 0.05). PDCI presented a significantly lower HR at VT2, and peak exercise compared to PD non-CI and controls (p ≤ 0.001). VO 2 was significantly lower in PDCI than PD non-CI and controls at VT2 (p = 0.003 and p = 0.036, respectively) and at peak exercise (p = 0.001 and p = 0.023, respectively).
Conclusion: Although poorly understood, the presence of CI in PD and its effect on HR and metabolic responses during incremental exercise is significant and important to consider when programming aerobic exercises.