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Srikant Vallabhajosula publishes articles in Parkinsonism Related Disorders and NeuroRehabilitation

Srikant Vallabhajosula, assistant professor of physical therapy, recently published two articles.

JULY 24, 2012 - Srikant Vallabhajosula. (photo by Kim Walker)

Abstract: (From Parkinsonism Related Disorders)


Gait dysfunction and postural instability are two debilitating symptoms in persons with Parkinson's disease (PD). Tai Chi exercise has recently gained attention as an attractive intervention for persons with PD because of its known potential to reduce falls and improve postural control, walking abilities, and safety at a low cost. The purpose of this report is to investigate the effect of Tai Chi exercise on dynamic postural control during gait initiation and gait performance in persons with idiopathic PD, and to determine whether these benefits could be replicated in two different environments, as complementary projects. In these two separate projects, a total of 45 participants with PD were randomly assigned to either a Tai Chi group or a control group. The Tai Chi groups in both projects completed a 16-week Tai Chi exercise session, while the control groups consisted of either a placebo (i.e., Qi-Gong) or non-exercise group. Tai Chi did not significantly improve Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale Part III score, selected gait initiation parameters or gait performance in either project. Combined results from both projects suggest that 16 weeks of class-based Tai Chi were ineffective in improving either gait initiation, gait performance, or reducing parkinsonian disability in this subset of persons with PD. Thus the use of short-term Tai Chi exercise should require further study before being considered a valuable therapeutic intervention for these domains in PD.


Abstract: (From NeuroRehabilitation)



High frequency stimulation (HFS) of the subthalamic nucleus is one of the most effective treatments for advanced Parkinson's disease (PD). HFS has provided beneficial improvements in the cardinal features of PD, but has not been proven as effective for addressing the axial predominant levodopa resistant symptoms, such as speech disturbances, gait disturbances, and postural instability. Recent studies have suggested that changes in stimulation parameters may influence differing PD symptoms.


The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of low frequency stimulation (LFS) versus HFS on the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS), gait, balance, and verbal fluency.


Eight tremor dominant and nine non-tremor dominant participants with bilateral deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus were tested off stimulation, during LFS, and during HFS.


Results revealed that HFS significantly reduced UPDRS tremor score in the tremor dominant group; however no differences emerged within the non-tremor dominant group. No differences between groups or stimulation conditions were found for gait, balance, and verbal fluency measures.


These results may suggest that HFS is better than LFS for reducing tremor in tremor dominant patients. However, patients with mild or no tremor show no acute differences in benefit from LFS as compared to HFS.

Katie DeGraff,
9/23/2013 10:55 AM