APDA Grantees Investigate New PD Treatment Option

Alice Cronin-Golomb, PhD, at the Boston University School of Medicine, one of the 15 APDA grant recipients for the 2017-2018 academic year, is leading a team of investigators to create solutions for people with PD. Their objective is to develop a low-cost treatment to improve cognitive and gait function without causing negative side effects. 

The inspiration for this study came when Dr. Cronin-Golomb was talking to Joseph DeGutis, PhD, about an attentional training program he was conducting in patients with cognitive impairment. The program was particularly effective for people with hemispatial neglect — that is, people with impairments on the left side of the body that reflect dysfunction in the right side of the brain.

Since PD starts on one side of the brain, they wondered if this program model could help people with PD — particularly those whose onset was on the left side of the body. To their surprise, their initial tests indicated that the attentional training worked across the board, regardless of what side the participants’ symptoms started on. They plan to expand on this exciting finding with APDA’s support.

Their APDA grant will be used to fund a cognitive training intervention study aimed at improving motor and non-motor functions. The study entails 30-minute sessions of in-home training over the course of four weeks that target core cognitive operations.

“Donations are what makes it possible to pull new researchers into the field of PD. Their varieties of expertise and insights will help us think outside the box, and that’s what’s going to push this field forward” says Dr. Alice Cronin-Golomb.

The initial results of Dr. Cronin-Golomb’s study are very promising and we are confident her team’s collaborative work will lead us to a better understanding of PD and how to treat it.

Thank you for supporting important research projects like these, which have great potential to improve the quality of life for people impacted by PD. To learn more about APDA’s cutting-edge research, visit our website.