Effectiveness of a Community-Based Exercise Program for Parkinson's Disease

Project Description

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that effects approximately 1 million older adults in America. There is no cure for PD; medications are the primary way that PD symptoms are managed.  Medications effectively manage some PD symptoms (e.g., tremor, slowness of movement, muscle rigidity), but other symptoms (e.g., cognition, walking, balance, speech) are less responsive to medication. Exercise may serve as an effective additional therapy to manage PD symptoms. Recent laboratory studies show that individuals with PD who perform exercise show significant improvements in PD symptoms. This project investigates whether an community-based exercise intervention is effective for improving PD symptoms less responsive to medication. We record participants exercise intensity during exercise classes and also have them complete a battery of laboratory tests once a month to measure their PD symptoms, movement and cognition. The goal of the project is to determine whether this community-implemented exercise class improves a range of PD symptoms.   

Work Description

Assistants may help with data collection, data processing, data entry, basic statistical analysis/graphing, summarizing research articles and manuscript preparation.

Requirements Description

Students should be comfortable with the following:

  • Working in teams
  • Comfortable working with older adults and individuals with Parkinson's disease
  • Pay attention to details
  • Have a working knowledge of Excel and basic statistics (e.g., means and standard deviations)

Experience using the following programs/languages is a plus:

  • SPSS
  • Matlab
  • Python

Work Schedule

Weekday morning availability, especially on Fridays, is preferred. However, there is some flexibility in the schedule. 

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Job ID: 169737
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Job Detail
Job Opening ID
Fall 2019 and Winter 2020
Work could be done by someone not coming to campus (e.g., online or non-local student)
What majors can apply?
  • Mechanical Engineering (MSE)
  • Occupational Therapy (OTD)
  • Physical Therapy (entry-level DPT)
  • Physical Therapy (post-professional DPT/Ph.D.)
Faculty Sponsor
Faculty Name
Nathaniel Miller
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