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Anne Kloos, PT, PhD, NCS

Award Name Collaborative/Partnership Pilot Awards
Award Date 12/01/2011

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Examining Effects of Dance Dance Revolution on Mobility, Brain Plasticity and Cognition in Individuals with Multiple Sclerosis

Anne Kloos, PT, PhD, NCS and team members Deb Kegelmeyer, Ruchika Prakash, Nora Fritz, Aaron Boster, and Greg Young received a Pilot award from the Center for Clinical and Translational Science at Ohio State for their research, “Examining Effects of Dance Dance Revolution on Mobility, Brain Plasticity and Cognition in Individuals with Multiple Sclerosis.”

Exercise has many beneficial effects on physical and cognitive performance by improving the function of brain cells and slowing their death. It is especially helpful for individuals with neurodegenerative diseases that alter normal brain function, to improve their cognition, balance, and movement.

However, it is often difficult for individuals, especially those with neurodegenerative diseases, to become motivated to exercise. In a previous trial of individuals with Huntington’s disease, Kloos and her colleagues found that the interactive video game, Dance Dance Revolution (DDR), was a fun way to boost motivation and provide a mental and physical workout, in addition to being a convenient way to deliver physical therapy.

“Dance Dance Revolution is a game that requires a lot of cognitive processing,” Kloos said. “The person has to look at a screen and time their movements to the arrows on the screen. They have to synchronize their movements and put their feet in the right place.”

Kloos will use her CCTS Pilot grant to bring this trial to a new population of individuals with multiple sclerosis, a neurodegenerative disease that effects different areas of the brain and causes physical and cognitive decline. Participants will exercise using DDR three times a week for eight weeks. Their function will be tested at the beginning and end of the trial through different physical and cognitive tests, in addition to functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to detect brain circuitry changes and a standard MS neurological exam.

DDR will provide a unique workout by combining both physical and cognitive exercise to increase motivation and improve patient function. Kloos hopes to find improvements in balance, walking, cognition, and motivation that could lead to future research to potentially discover what stages of multiple sclerosis are most benefited by this treatment, or even ways in which DDR could be adapted to increase ease of use or effectiveness for patients. If successful, DDR could provide an additional intervention to be used alongside medication to further slow the progression of the disease.

“Using Dance Dance Revolution doesn’t cost that much and can be done at home,” Kloos said. “It would be so much nicer for patients.”

The CCTS grant will help to purchase DDR, employ students and neurologists to assist in the trial, and fMRI costs.

By Rachel Fenton, August 14, 2012

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