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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2015 Mar;1337:111-7. doi: 10.1111/nyas.12615.

Impaired movement timing in neurological disorders: rehabilitation and treatment strategies.

Author information

1
Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts.

Abstract

Timing abnormalities have been reported in many neurological disorders, including Parkinson's disease (PD). In PD, motor-timing impairments are especially debilitating in gait. Despite impaired audiomotor synchronization, PD patients' gait improves when they walk with an auditory metronome or with music. Building on that research, we make recommendations for optimizing sensory cues to improve the efficacy of rhythmic cuing in gait rehabilitation. Adaptive rhythmic metronomes (that synchronize with the patient's walking) might be especially effective. In a recent study we showed that adaptive metronomes synchronized consistently with PD patients' footsteps without requiring attention; this improved stability and reinstated healthy gait dynamics. Other strategies could help optimize sensory cues for gait rehabilitation. Groove music strongly engages the motor system and induces movement; bass-frequency tones are associated with movement and provide strong timing cues. Thus, groove and bass-frequency pulses could deliver potent rhythmic cues. These strategies capitalize on the close neural connections between auditory and motor networks; and auditory cues are typically preferred. However, moving visual cues greatly improve visuomotor synchronization and could warrant examination in gait rehabilitation. Together, a treatment approach that employs groove, auditory, bass-frequency, and adaptive (GABA) cues could help optimize rhythmic sensory cues for treating motor and timing deficits.

KEYWORDS:

Parkinson's disease; adaptive timing; gait rehabilitation; groove; rhythmic auditory stimulation

PMID:
25773624
PMCID:
PMC4363094
DOI:
10.1111/nyas.12615
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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