Do cognitive measures and brain circuitry predict outcomes of exercise in Parkinson Disease: A randomized clinical trial

L. A. King, D. S. Peterson, M. Mancini, P. Carlson-Kuhta, B. W. Fling, K. Smulders, J. G. Nutt, M. Dale, J. Carter, K. M. Winters-Stone, F. B. Horak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Background: There is emerging research detailing the relationship between balance/gait/falls and cognition. Imaging studies also suggest a link between structural and functional changes in the frontal lobe (a region commonly associated with cognitive function) and mobility. People with Parkinson's disease have important changes in cognitive function that may impact rehabilitation efficacy. Our underlying hypothesis is that cognitive function and frontal lobe connections with the basal ganglia and brainstem posture/locomotor centers are responsible for postural deficits in people with Parkinson's disease and play a role in rehabilitation efficacy. The purpose of this study is to 1) determine if people with Parkinson's disease can improve mobility and/or cognition after partaking in a cognitively challenging mobility exercise program and 2) determine if cognition and brain circuitry deficits predict responsiveness to exercise rehabilitation. Methods/Design: This study is a randomized cross-over controlled intervention to take place at a University Balance Disorders Laboratory. The study participants will be people with Parkinson's disease who meet inclusion criteria for the study. The intervention will be 6weeks of group exercise (case) and 6weeks of group education (control). The exercise is a cognitively challenging program based on the Agility Boot Camp for people with PD. The education program is a 6-week program to teach people how to better live with a chronic disease. The primary outcome measure is the MiniBESTest and the secondary outcomes are measures of mobility, cognition and neural imaging. Discussion: The results from this study will further our understanding of the relationship between cognition and mobility with a focus on brain circuitry as it relates to rehabilitation potential. Trial registration: This trial is registered at clinical (NCT02231073 ).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number218
JournalBMC Neurology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 24 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • And cognition
  • Brain imaging
  • Exercise
  • Parkinson's disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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