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Exercise Targeting Cognitive Impairment in Parkinson’s Disease


Brief Summary:

The aim of this application is to compare and elucidate the effects of skill-based versus
aerobic exercise versus control on mild cognitive impairment (MCI) of the executive function
(EF) subtype in Parkinson’s disease (PD); we hypothesize that skill-based exercise will
result in the greatest improvement in EF and lead to modification of underlying neural


Inclusion Criteria:

– willing and able to provide informed consent

– confirmed diagnosis of idiopathic PD based on the United Kingdom Brain Bank criteria

– Mild cognitive impairment (Level II criteria Movement Disorder Task Force)

– medically eligible for MRI imaging

– able to provide a written medical clearance from their primary physician to
participate in exercise

– stable PD medications for 3 months

Exclusion Criteria:

– a Hoehn & Yahr staging greater than 2.5 at screening

– severe cardiac disease (New York Heart Association classification IIIV)

– history of an abnormal stress test

– clinically significant medical or psychiatric illness

– electrically, magnetically, or mechanically activated implant (such as cardiac
pacemakers or intracerebral vascular clip)

– metal in any part of the body including metal injury to the eye

– past history of brain lesions (such as stroke)

– seizures or unexplained spells of loss of consciousness

– family history of epilepsy

– physical therapy within 6 months of the study

– symptomatic orthostatic hypotension at the screening visit

– orthopedic and other movement-influencing diseases such as arthritis or total hip
joint replacement

– requirement for central nervous system active therapies (e.g. hypnotics,
antidepressants, anxiolytics)

– moderate or severe depression or apathy using the Geriatric depression scale and
Apathy scale

– taking anticholinesterase inhibitors

– taking anticholinergic medication

– PD dementia

– Colorblindness


  • University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, United States, 90033-4606
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