Purpose

The investigators propose a single-blind randomized clinical trial to determine if seniors show improved mobility (walking speed) and cognition following motor imagery (imagined walking) training. They hypothesize that imagined walking can be used as a rehabilitative tool for improving walking speed and cognition in the elderly, because it engages and strengthens similar neural systems as actual walking and cognition.

Condition

Eligibility

Eligible Ages
Between 65 Years and 85 Years
Eligible Genders
All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers
Yes

Inclusion Criteria

  • Adults between 65 and 85 years and older, residing in the community.
  • Able to speak English at a level sufficient to undergo study procedures.
  • Plan to be in the area for the next 3 months.

Exclusion Criteria

  • Presence of dementia (telephone-based memory impairment screen < 5 or Ascertain Dementia 8-item Informant Questionnaire score > 1)
  • Presence of gait disorder diagnosed by clinician (e.g. neuropathy).
  • Any medical condition or chronic medication use (e.g. neuroleptics) that will compromise safety or affect cognitive functioning.
  • Terminal illness with life expectancy <12 months.
  • Progressive, degenerative neurologic disease (e.g. Parkinson's disease, ALS).
  • Major psychiatric disorders such as Schizophrenia.
  • Pacemaker or any permanent metal implants like hip prosthesis (other than tooth fillings) and claustrophobia.

Study Design

Phase
N/A
Study Type
Interventional
Allocation
Randomized
Intervention Model
Parallel Assignment
Primary Purpose
Treatment
Masking
Single (Participant)

Arm Groups

ArmDescriptionAssigned Intervention
Experimental
Imagined Gait Intervention
During the phone-based imagined gait intervention, participants will be called by the experimenter three times a week and be asked to imagine walking, imagine talking and imagine walking-while-talking. They will also be asked to rate their visual and kinesthetic qualities of their images on a 1-5 scale following each trial.
  • Behavioral: Imagined Gait Intervention
    Phone-based imagined gait intervention: participants will be called by the experimenter three times a week and be asked to imagine walking, imagine talking and imagine walking-while-talking. They will also be asked to rate their visual and kinesthetic qualities of their images on a 1-5 scale following each trial.
Active Comparator
Visual Imagery Intervention
During the phone-based visual imagery intervention, participants will be called three times a week by the experimenter and be asked to imagine concrete objects (e.g. octopus, teapot, and shovel). They will also be asked to rate their visual qualities of their images on a 1-5 scale following each trial.
  • Behavioral: Visual Imagery Intervention
    Phone-based visual imagery intervention: participants will be called three times a week by the experimenter and be asked to imagine concrete objects (e.g. octopus, teapot, and shovel). They will also be asked to rate their visual qualities of their images on a 1-5 scale following each trial.

Recruiting Locations

Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Bronx, New York 10461
Contact:
Dakota Egglefield
718-430-3972

More Details

NCT ID
NCT02762604
Status
Recruiting
Sponsor
Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Inc.

Study Contact

Helena M Blumen, Ph.D
7184303810
helena.blumen@einstein.yu.edu

Detailed Description

The proposed research aims to establish the efficacy of an imagined gait protocol for improving gait and cognition in the elderly. This imagined gait protocol involves imagined gait in single (imagined walking; iW) and dual-task (imagined walking while talking; iWWT) situations. A single-blind randomized clinical trial of 58 cognitively-healthy elderly with pre-post measures of gait, cognition, and functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) during imagined gait is proposed. The overall hypothesis is that imagined gait can be used as a rehabilitative tool for improving gait and cognition in the elderly because it engages and strengthens similar neural systems as actual gait and cognition. The first aim of this study is to establish the efficacy of our imagined gait protocol to improve gait and cognition in the elderly. We predict that our imagined gait intervention will improve gait velocity during actual walking and walking-while-talking conditions to a greater extent than the active control (visual imagery) intervention. We also predict that our imagined gait intervention will cognitive performance during dual-task walking conditions. The second aim of this study is to determine neuroplasticity changes in response to our imagined gait protocol. We predict that the neural systems engaged during imagined gait will change following our imagined gait intervention.

Notice

Study information shown on this site is derived from ClinicalTrials.gov (a public registry operated by the National Institutes of Health). The listing of studies provided is not certain to be all studies for which you might be eligible. Furthermore, study eligibility requirements can be difficult to understand and may change over time, so it is wise to speak with your medical care provider and individual research study teams when making decisions related to participation.