The acute and long-term effects of concussive and subconcussive head impacts on brain health have gained tremendous attention over the past five years. The treatment and management of concussion involves multiple providers from multiple disciplines and backgrounds. Varied backgrounds and approaches to assessing cognitive and motor function before and post-concussion are limiting factors in the efficient and effective management of concussion as discipline-specific rating scales and assessments serve as a barrier to effective patient hand-offs between providers. Combining principles of motor behavior with biomechanical approaches to data analysis has the potential to improve the continuity of care across the multiple providers managing athletes with concussion. Biomechanical measures have been developed and validated using mobile devices to provide objective and quantitative assessments of information processing, working memory, set switching, and postural stability. These biomechanical outcomes are integral to a clinical management algorithm, the Concussion Care Path, currently used across the Cleveland Clinic Health System. The objective outcomes provide a common data set that all providers in the spectrum of care can access which facilitates communication and the practice of medicine and in understanding the acute and long-term effects of concussion and subconcussive exposure on neurological function.
Jay L. Alberts and Susan M. Linder
Angela L. Ridgel, Chul-Ho Kim, Emily J. Fickes, Matthew D. Muller, and Jay L. Alberts
Individuals with Parkinson’s disease (PD) often experience cognitive declines. Although pharmacologic therapies are helpful in treating motor deficits in PD, they do not appear to be effective for cognitive complications. Acute bouts of moderate aerobic exercise have been shown to improve cognitive function in healthy adults. However, individuals with PD often have difficulty with exercise. This study examined the effects of passive leg cycling on executive function in PD. Executive function was assessed with Trail-Making Test (TMT) A and B before and after passive leg cycling. Significant improvements on the TMT-B test occurred after passive leg cycling. Furthermore, the difference between times to complete the TMT-B and TMT-A significantly decreased from precycling to postcycling. Improved executive function after passive cycling may be a result of increases in cerebral blood flow. These findings suggest that passive exercise could be a concurrent therapy for cognitive decline in PD.
Amanda L. Penko, Jacob E. Barkley, Anson B. Rosenfeldt, and Jay L. Alberts
Background: Parkinson’s disease (PD) results in a global decrease in information processing, ultimately resulting in dysfunction executing motor-cognitive tasks. Motor-cognitive impairments contribute to postural instability, often leading to falls and decreased physical activity. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of a multimodal training (MMT) versus single-modal (SMT) training on motor symptoms, fall frequency, and physical activity in patients with PD classified as fallers. Methods: Individuals with PD were randomized into SMT (n = 11) or MMT (n = 10) and completed training 3 times per week for 8 weeks. The SMT completed gait and cognitive training separately, whereas MMT completed gait and cognitive training simultaneously during each 45-minute session. Physical activity, 30-day fall frequency, and PD motor symptoms were assessed at baseline, posttreatment, and during a 4-week follow-up. Results: Both groups exhibited significant (P < .05) improvements in clinical ratings of motor function, as symptoms improved by 8% and 15% for SMT and MMT, respectively. Physical activity significantly increased (P < .05) for both groups from baseline (mean steps 4942 ) to posttreatment (mean steps 5914 ). The MMT resulted in a significant 60% reduction in falls. Conclusions: Although SMT and MMT approaches are both effective in improving physical activity and motor symptoms of PD, only MMT reduced fall frequency after the intervention.
Anson B. Rosenfeldt, Amanda L. Penko, Andrew S. Bazyk, Matthew C. Streicher, Tanujit Dey, and Jay L. Alberts
The aim of this project was to (a) evaluate the potential of the 2-min walk test to detect declines in gait velocity under dual-task conditions and (b) compare gait velocity overground and on a self-paced treadmill in Parkinson’s disease (PD). In total, 23 individuals with PD completed the 2-min walk test under single- and dual-task (serial 7s) conditions overground and on a self-paced treadmill. There was a significant decrease in gait velocity from single- to dual-task conditions overground (1.32 ± 0.22 to 1.10 ± 0.25 m/s; p < .001) and on the self-paced treadmill (1.24 ± 0.21 to 1.05 ± 0.25 m/s; p < .001). Overground and treadmill velocities were not statistically different from each other; however, differences approached or exceeded the minimal clinical important difference. The 2-min walk test coupled with a cognitive task provides an effective model of identifying dual-task declines in individuals with PD. Further studies comparing overground and self-paced treadmill velocity is warranted in PD.