Exercise, Brain Imaging, Cognition, and Gait in Parkinsonism

Principal Investigator

Fay Horak

Study Purpose

The purposes of this study are: 1. to better understand how Parkinson disease and parkinsonism affects balance, walking, cognition and brain connections and 2. to investigate how exercise and education might help improve quality of life.

Medical Condition(s)

We will be studying people with Parkinson's disease and people with vascular parkinsonism (i.e., short steps, unsteadiness and difficulty lifting feet off the floor).

Eligibility Criteria

Healthy people or people with a diagnosis of Parkinson's disease or "lower-body" / vascular parkinsonism, between the ages of 50 -90 yrs. Subjects must be in good general health with no vestibular (inner ear) impairment or orthopedic problems. Subjects must be able to stand and walk unassisted for 1 minute at a time. Subjects must be free of metal implants, including pacemakers, aneurysm clips, pins.

Age Range

50 - 90

Healthy Volunteers Needed


Duration of Participation

For subjects participating in Exercise and Education intervention participation will be for 12 weeks of intervention and also 2 days of testing before, half way through and after intervention (so spanning a total of 15 weeks).

For subjects only participating in the gait, cognition, imaging testing, participation will last for 2 days.

Minors Included



Graham Harker
Balance Disorders Laboratory
503-418-2601 or


National Institutes of Health, Collins Trust, and the Medical Research Foundation of Oregon, OHSU Parkinson Center of Oregon.

Recruitment End


Compensation Provided



Subjects will receive $25 for each gait and cognitive test session, $25 for each MRI test. For those participating in the Exercise and Education intervention, subjects will receive a $5 for attending each exercise/education classes (for a total of $270, if attend all sessions).

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