Cognitive Rehabilitation in PD

2014-08-27 03:15:16 | BioPortfolio


We are testing a computer game-style rehabilitation program for people with Parkinson's disease (PD). People with PD often have difficulty with motor planning, such as initiating or starting movements. We believe that our program will improve performance on a movement initiation task as well as on activities of daily living, such as walking, preparing a meal or opening a medicine bottle. We will measure brain function using functional MRI before and after training to identify brain areas that are involved in improved performance. If effective, computer based training will be an inexpensive treatment for motor planning deficits in PD that is free from side effects and easy to administer to a large number of patients.


Our approach is to use PD-based adaptive training to improve performance on IG movement initiation in patients with PD. We have three aims, 1) to systematically evaluate cognitive rehabilitation in people with Parkinson's disease (PD), 2) to examine the neural mechanisms subserving cognitive rehabilitation in PD and 3) to assess the ecological validity of cognitive rehabilitation in PD. We will focus on a single aspect of cognitive function, the decision to initiate a movement. Movements can be internally generated (IG) or externally cued, and motor deficits in PD are typically linked to IG movements. The protocol is designed to drive beneficial neuroplastic changes using a paradigm similar to those that have shown promising results in traumatic brain injury patients. In addition, we will use fMRI to measure activity in underlying basal ganglia-thalamocortical circuits. Finally, because the goal of any research regarding the pathophysiology of disease is to improve the lives of patients with the disease, behavioral and neuropsychological measures will be correlated with fMRI measured functional abnormalities before and after training. Improvement in the initiation of movement has the potential to dramatically improve daily functioning including reducing falls, improving language production and improving proficiency of activities of daily living.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Basic Science


Parkinson's Disease


PC based training


VA Northern California HCS
United States


Not yet recruiting


Department of Veterans Affairs

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:15:16-0400

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

Proteins associated with sporadic or familial cases of PARKINSON DISEASE.

A condition caused by the neurotoxin MPTP which causes selective destruction of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons. Clinical features include irreversible parkinsonian signs including rigidity and bradykinesia (PARKINSON DISEASE, SECONDARY). MPTP toxicity is also used as an animal model for the study of PARKINSON DISEASE. (Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p1072; Neurology 1986 Feb;36(2):250-8)

A group of disorders which feature impaired motor control characterized by bradykinesia, MUSCLE RIGIDITY; TREMOR; and postural instability. Parkinsonian diseases are generally divided into primary parkinsonism (see PARKINSON DISEASE), secondary parkinsonism (see PARKINSON DISEASE, SECONDARY) and inherited forms. These conditions are associated with dysfunction of dopaminergic or closely related motor integration neuronal pathways in the BASAL GANGLIA.

Parkinsonism following encephalitis, historically seen as a sequella of encephalitis lethargica (Von Economo Encephalitis). The early age of onset, the rapid progression of symptoms followed by stabilization, and the presence of a variety of other neurological disorders (e.g., sociopathic behavior; TICS; MUSCLE SPASMS; oculogyric crises; hyperphagia; and bizarre movements) distinguish this condition from primary PARKINSON DISEASE. Pathologic features include neuronal loss and gliosis concentrated in the MESENCEPHALON; SUBTHALAMUS; and HYPOTHALAMUS. (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p754)

Conditions which feature clinical manifestations resembling primary Parkinson disease that are caused by a known or suspected condition. Examples include parkinsonism caused by vascular injury, drugs, trauma, toxin exposure, neoplasms, infections and degenerative or hereditary conditions. Clinical features may include bradykinesia, rigidity, parkinsonian gait, and masked facies. In general, tremor is less prominent in secondary parkinsonism than in the primary form. (From Joynt, Clinical Neurology, 1998, Ch38, pp39-42)

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