Does use of a dual-task cognitive game-based treadmill platform improve gait in Parkinson disease? A feasibility study


Authors: Bhuvan Mahana, Mayank Bhatt, Akanksha Gupta, Douglas Everett Hobson, Ji Hyun Ko, and Tony Szturm
Page Range: 593-605
Published in: Brain, Body, Cognition, 9#4 (2019)
ISSN: 2643-5683

Table of Contents


Background: Mobility limitations and cognitive impair-ments which are common in Parkinson’s disease (PD) often coexist, causing a reduction in the levels of physical and mental activity and are prognostic of future adverse health events and falls. Consequently, multi-task training programs which can simultaneously address both mobility and cognition are important to consider in rehabilitation. Objective: The purpose of this pilot study was to explore the feasibility of conducting a full-scale randomized controlled trial (RCT) using a game-assisted dual-task (DT) treadmill training program for individuals with PD. Study Group: Fifteen participants diagnosed with PD (stage 2-3). Methods: Participants were provided a 10-week (biweekly sessions) DT-treadmill gait training program, coupled with various visuomotor and cognitive game tasks. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to assess the participant’s experiences and acceptability of the program. Spatio-temporal gait variables and cognitive performance measures were obtained for single and dual-task conditions, pre- and post-intervention to estimate treatment effect size. Results: Findings demonstrated the feasibility and accept-ability of the DT treadmill program. Compliance was 100% for all 15 participants. Medium to large effect sizes was observed for most spatiotemporal gait variables and cognitive performance measures under DT conditions. Conclusion: Although some difficulties with the technology were reported, the findings demonstrate feasible trial procedures and acceptable DT task-oriented training with a high compliance rate and positive outcomes. These findings and the theoretical evidence direct the next phase of a full-scale RCT. Contribution of Paper: Provides evidence of feasibility of using a novel, low cost dual-task training program for PD population and provide insight into effectiveness of walking dual-task training in people with PD to improve both gait and cognitive outcome measures.

Keywords: Parkinson Disease, Dual-task training, Feasibility study, cognitive and gait outcome measures

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