Study seeking patients with Parkinson's disease, older adults

September 22, 2015  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University researchers are seeking adults who are 60 years or older with and without Parkinson's disease, to participate in a study that is designed to help people improve older adults' mobility.

A research team from Purdue's College of Health and Human Sciences is testing an intervention to help older adults improve balance while performing cognitively-demanding tasks. The team developed COgnitive-based BALance Training (COBALT) to simultaneously train balance and cognition, by simulating the demands inherent in common tasks. The researchers are evaluating this training program, along with two other programs, to determine which will help older adults improve their walking and balance.

The study is 12 weeks long and participants will be financially compensated. For more information, contact Sandy Snyder, the study coordinator, at

"Older adults with and without Parkinson's disease often fall when trying to do two things at once; even something as simple as walking while talking," said Jessica Huber, professor of speech, language and hearing sciences, who is one of the co-principal investigators. "Falling can result in injury, as well as reduce independence, mobility and quality of life."

Jeff Haddad, associate professor of health and kinesiology, is the other principal investigator. Other members of the research team are Meghan McDonough, an associate professor of health and kinesiology, and Shirley Rietdyk, a professor of health and kinesiology, as well as faculty from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

Writer: Amy Patterson Neubert, 765-494-9723,

Sources: Jessica Huber,

Jeff Haddad, 

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