Perceptual-Cognitive Training in PD – Faubert, PhD – University of Montreal

Title of the project: Percpetual-Cognitive Training in PD: Impact on Cognitive Function, Mobility, Quality of Life, and Neural Mechanisms

Principle Investigator : Jocelyn Faubert, Ph.D.

Co-investigators : Oury Monchi, Ph.D., Claudine Habak

Site of the study : École d’optométrie, Université de  Montréal – Clinique universitaire de la vision, 3744 Rue Jean-Brillant, Montréal, QC H3T 1P1

Abstract : Parkinson’s  disease  (PD)  holds  grave  effects  on  quality  of  life,  and  training  regimens  that complement  pharmacological  intervention  could  greatly benefit  PD  patients.  In  addition, understanding the neural change involved in training-induced improvement in PD would help to optimize treatment. Perceptual-cognitive training holds known benefits in the elderly, making it clinically  relevant  to  PD,  but  has  not  been  applied  in  PD.  This  training,  in  healthy  older populations, has yielded improvement of cognitive function and daily-task execution and has helped to maintain mobility and driving independence, with protective effects on quality of life lasting 5 years. This series of improvements  is  particularly  important,  because  benefits  are  not  limited  to  the  perceptual-cognitive domain, but extend to general function, mobility, and quality of life. In PD, both motor and cognitive neural circuits are deficient, but medication supports mainly the motor sub-system, making complementary treatment and understanding its effects on brain activity, essential in PD.

Purpose of the study : The  purpose of  this  project  is  to  evaluate the  effects  of perceptual-cognitive  training  on  neuropsychological measures, mobility and quality of life measures, and brain activation patterns using  fMRI  and  Near-Infrared  Spectroscopy  (NIRS).