More MS news articles for Feb 2002

Thornton 'Psycles' to a world record

Tuesday, February 26, 2002
Staff Writer

A world record was set recently by Jerry Thornton after he completed one million revolutions on a legs and torso cycle at the Psycle Training Program at Tarleton State University.

"I feel great," Thornton said after setting the record on his 700th cycle in the program. He has cerebral palsy.

The Psycle program, which is a trademark name, is for individuals with quadriplegia, paraplegia, hemiplegia, spina bifida, multiple sclerosis, or other mobility impairments.

Thornton began the program in 1994 after being encouraged by the director of the program, Joe Priest, a professor of health and physical education. Thornton said he has since received a lot of encouragement from the trainers and the Lions Club, so he stuck with the program.

"Cerebral palsy is all over the world, and there's not much they can do," Priest said. "Here, Jerry is working hard and maintaining in good health."

Priest said participants of the program train using legs and torso cycling. There are only three of these unique cycles in the world, Priest said. Two of them being at TSU and the third in Dallas.

The local Lions Club furnished the very first cycle, according to Brad Thompson, a member of the Lions Club.

"These cycles should be used around the world," said Thompson. "The possibility is a sleeping giant."

Thornton, who attends sessions three times per week, said he believes the program has helped him physically.

"This has also helped me from getting sick," he said.

According to a brochure, the participants of the program have reported benefits including, "increased endurance, improved mental alertness and emotional health, improved mobility, and decreased expense and dependence on prescription drugs."

The TSU physiology students act as the personal trainers for those participating, said Priest.

"We're taking a gift from the Lions Club, utilizing young professionals in the world of health and physical education to train people who otherwise won't get trained," Priest said.

The program is free for participants.

"Our students win because they get better at training," said Priest. "And our subjects win because they get better.

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