Sing for Your Saunter - Dementia Supplement

Sing for Your Saunter: Using Self-generated Rhythmic Cues to Enhance Gait in Parkinson's - Dementia Supplement


Lead Sponsor: Washington University School of Medicine

Source Washington University School of Medicine
Brief Summary

Older adults, and particularly those with Parkinson disease (PD), may experience walking difficulties that negatively impact their daily function and quality of life. People that have PD plus dementia are also likely to experience walking difficulties. This project will examine the impact of music and mentally singing on walking performance, with a goal of understanding what types of rhythmic cues are most helpful. Pilot work from the investigators suggests that imagined, mental singing (i.e., singing in head) while while walking helps people walk faster with greater stability, whereas walking to music also helps people walk faster but with reduced stability.

In this study, the investigators will recruit people who have PD plus dementia. The investigators will compare walking while mentally singing, walking while singing out loud, and walking while listening to music, using personalized cues tailored to each person's walking performance. The investigators hypothesize temporal variability of gait will be lower in the mental singing and singing conditions compared to listening to music; and that mental singing, singing, and listening to music will elicit similar improvements in stride length.

Detailed Description

During this observational study, participants will attend one visit in the laboratory. The visit will include participants wearing wearable sensors during the following tasks: walking with no cues (UNCUED), walking while listening to music (MUSIC), walking while singing out loud (SINGING), and walking while mentally singing (MENTAL SINGING). The wearable sensors will measure gait parameters including gait speed, stride length, and stride time variability.

Overall Status Not yet recruiting
Start Date January 2021
Completion Date January 2022
Primary Completion Date January 2022
Study Type Observational
Primary Outcome
Measure Time Frame
Stride Time Variability Baseline
Stride length Baseline
Enrollment 23

Intervention Type: Behavioral

Intervention Name: Mentally Singing

Description: Participants sing their song in their head and match their footfalls to the beat.

Arm Group Label: Parkinson disease plus dementia

Intervention Type: Behavioral

Intervention Name: Listening to music

Description: Participants listen to their song and match their footfalls to the beat.

Arm Group Label: Parkinson disease plus dementia

Intervention Type: Behavioral

Intervention Name: Singing

Description: Participants will sing their song out loud and match their footfalls to the beat.

Arm Group Label: Parkinson disease plus dementia


Sampling Method: Non-Probability Sample


Inclusion Criteria:

- at least 30 years of age

- diagnosis of idiopathic, typical Parkinson disease according to the UK Brain Bank Criteria

- Hoehn & Yahr stages 2-3 (mild to moderate disease severity)

- normal or corrected hearing

- stable on all PD medications for at least 2 months prior to study entry

- dementia as defined by a Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) score of 0.5-1.0 (very mild to mild dementia)

- score of ≥ 1 on the MDS-UPDRS-III Item #10 indicating observable gait impairment

- a score of 1 or less on item #7 on the freezing of gait questionnaire

- able to walk for 10 continuous minutes independently

Exclusion Criteria:

- diagnosis of any other neurological condition

- unstable medical or concomitant illnesses or psychiatric conditions which, in the opinion of the investigators, would preclude successful participation

- cardiac problems that interfere with ability to safely participate (i.e., uncontrolled congestive heart failure, myocardial infarction in past 6 months, complex cardiac arrhythmias, significant left ventricular dysfunction, dyspnea on exertion, chest pain or pressure, resting tachycardia (>100 beats/min); uncontrolled BP (resting systolic BP >160 mmHg or diastolic BP >100 mmHg))

- orthopedic problems in the lower extremities or spine that may limit walking (i.e., severe arthritis, spinal stenosis)

- uncontrolled tremor or dyskinesia while on PD medications

Gender: All

Minimum Age: 30 Years

Maximum Age: N/A

Healthy Volunteers: No

Overall Official
Last Name Role Affiliation
Gammon Earhart Principal Investigator Washington University School of Medicine
Overall Contact

Last Name: Martha Hessler

Phone: 3142861478

Email: [email protected]

Facility: Washington University School of Medicine Program in Physical Therapy
Location Countries

United States

Verification Date

August 2020

Responsible Party

Type: Principal Investigator

Investigator Affiliation: Washington University School of Medicine

Investigator Full Name: Gammon M Earhart

Investigator Title: Director, Program in Physical Therapy

Has Expanded Access No
Condition Browse
Arm Group

Label: Parkinson disease plus dementia

Description: Participants will have a diagnosis of Parkinson disease plus dementia.

Acronym SFYS-D
Patient Data Undecided
Study Design Info

Observational Model: Case-Only

Time Perspective: Cross-Sectional