Temporal discrimination learning for treatment of gait dysfunction in Parkinson’s disease: a feasibility study using single subject design
Richard P. Di Fabio,1 Hugo Merchant,2 Ramon Bartolo,2 Paul Tuite3
1Graduate Programs in Neuroscience and the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Medical School, University of Minnesota; 2Instituto de Neurobiología, UNAM campus Juriquilla Boulevard Juriquilla No. 3001,Querétaro, Qro. 76230 México; 3Department of Neurology, Medical School, University of Minnesota
Abstract: Freezing of gait in Parkinson’s disease may be attributed to dysfunctional neural timing that alters stride time variability. This study investigated the feasibility of a five-day perceptual timing training program using an auditory interval discrimination task to reduce stride time variability in Parkinson’s disease. Results showed that training produced an increase in time-discrimination acuity in a Parkinson’s disease patient, followed by a decrease in stride time variability. Effects persisted six weeks after training. No learning transfer effects were found in a patient trained in a pitch discrimination task. In conclusion, interval discrimination training may reduce temporal gait irregularities in Parkinson’s disease.
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