Dual-Tasking in Parkinson’s Disease

Abstract

Introduction: Impairment of dual-tasking, as an attention-based primary cognitive dysfunction, is frequently observed in Parkinson’s Disease (PD). The Training-PD study investigated the efficiency of exergaming, as a novel cognitive-motor training approach, to improve attention-based deficits and dual-tasking in PD when compared to healthy controls. Methods: Eighteen PD patients and 17 matched healthy controls received a 6-week home-based training period of exergaming. Treatment effects were monitored using quantitative motor assessment of gait and cognitive testing as baseline and after 6 weeks of training. Results: At baseline PD patients showed a significantly worse performance in several quantitative motor assessment parameters and in two items of cognitive testing. After 6 weeks of exergames training, the comparison of normal gait vs. dual-tasking in general showed an improvement of stride length in the PD group, without a gait-condition specific improvement. In the direct comparison of three different gait conditions (normal gait vs. dual-tasking calculating while walking vs. dual-tasking crossing while walking) PD patients showed a significant improvement of stride length under the dual-tasking calculating condition. This corresponded to a significant improvement in one parameter of the D2 attention test. Conclusions: We conclude, that exergaming, as an easy to apply, safe technique, can improve deficits in cognitive-motor dual-tasking and attention in PD.

Authors

Schaeffer E, Department of Neurology, Christian-Albrecht-University Kiel, Kiel, Germany.

All authors found in this link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31275234

Why it matters to APDM users

APDM’s Mobility Lab was the primary technology for measuring quantitative movement in this study. Dual tasking is becoming more prevalent in clinical research and trials and we are ready for the increased demand. Using the Test Creation feature in APDM’s Mobility Lab software, you can create a Dual Task condition for a walking test to compare with and without dual task.

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