This study focused on targeted sensorimotor training techniques that appear to improve functional and neural outcomes. As part of the study, the lab developed animal models of slow progressive nigrostriatal dopamine terminal degeneration in rats that include gradual impairment in vocalization and fine motor control, in addition to walking and balance. Researchers investigated whether neural degeneration and symptoms of fine motor control and balance can be slowed or even reversed with the right combination of early treatments.
Testing this hypothesis that symptoms of fine motor control and balance can be improved with a combination of early treatments could reduce fall risk, fear of falling, and isolation in the Parkinson’s community. This research in an animal model could ultimately help lead to more effective therapies in human case studies.