Office Phone: 205-934-8517
Office Fax: 205-975-7787
Office Location: SHPB 334
Department(s) and Affliliations
Physical Therapy; Coordinator-Parkinson Association of Alabama (PAA) Comprehensive Health and Wellness Program
Affiliations/Collaborations: Department of Neurology - UAB ; American Parkinson Disease Association – Birmingham; Parkinson Association of Alabama (PAA); Department of Music-UAB; Lakeshore Foundation; Center for Exercise Medicine; Center for Aging; National Center for Physical Activity and Disability
Areas of Research
Parkinson Disease (PD), movement coordination during human locomotion, mobility training using external rhythms and music, health, wellness, and exercise for persons with PD, exercise behavior
Focus of Research
Our aim is to improve the quality of life for persons with Parkinson disease (PD) through the study of both rehabilitation interventions and community based health and wellness programs. As PD progresses, functional mobility decreases. We study mobility training interventions and community based programs, specifically examining the use of external rhythms, music, and technology to improve walking speed and compliance when exercising at home. Previous research findings, including our own, have shown that gait training to an external timer and/or popular music has a significant effect on the walking behavior of persons with PD. However, we know very little about the dosage related to this intervention. Our current and future research is focused on investigating the training dosage that improves functional mobility and participation in the community.
We work closely with the PAA, Lakeshore Foundation, Department of Neurology, and the APDA – Birmingham in delivering a comprehensive health and wellness program for persons with Parkinson disease. The primary aim of this program is to provide services and resources beyond traditional health-care. In order to support the development and growth of this program we are actively investigating research questions related to improving service delivery and QOL for persons with PD, beyond functional mobility. For example, we are interested in how personal, health, and environmental factors alter the trajectory of disability in PD. Research has shown that resistance and aerobic training improve symptoms of PD. We are examining the effects of different modes of physical exercise, but arguably more important, is how technology can be utilized to change daily exercise habits.
In our research we utilize physical lab space both at UAB and the Lakeshore Foundation (www.lakeshore.org). The motion analysis lab in the Department of Physical Therapy at UAB contains an 8 camera Vicon motion analysis system and 2 AMTI force plates. With this equipment we are able to study human locomotion, both over-ground and on a treadmill. The Lakeshore Foundation contains equipment for testing and training strength, balance, aerobic capacity, functional mobility, and community participation.Recent and Selected Publications
Cavanaugh JT, Earhart GM, Ellis TD, Ford MP, Foreman KB, Dibble LE. Capturing ambulatory activity decline in Parkinson disease. Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy. 2012; - press.
Ford MP, Bickel CS , Malone L, Nyikos I, Barnard A. Exercise benefits of training with external auditory cues in persons with Parkinson’s. Arch Phys Med Rehab. 2012; - under review.
Duncan RP, Leddy AL, Cavanaugh JT, Dibble LE, Ellis TD, Ford MP, Foreman KB, Earhart GM. Accuracy of fall prediction in Parkinson disease: six-month and 12-month prospective analyses. Parkinsons Dis. 2012; Epub 2011 Nov 30.
Ellis TD, Cavanaugh JT, Dibble LE Earhart GM, Ford MP, Foreman KB. Determinants of exercise behavior in persons with Parkinson disease. Physical Therapy. 2011; 91: 1838-1848.
Earhart GM, Cavanaugh JT, Dibble LE, Ellis TD, Ford MP, Foreman KB. The 9 hole peg test of upper extremity function, normative values, test-retest reliability, factors contributing to performance in persons with Parkinsonsdisease. Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy. 2011; 35: 157-163.
Ellis T, Cavanaugh Earhart GM, Ford MP, Foreman KB, Dibble LE. JT, What Measures of Physical Function and Motor Impairment Best Predict Quality of Life in Parkinson’s Disease? Parkinsonism and Related Disorders. 2011; 17:693-697.
Ford MP, Malone L, Nyikos I, Walker H, Yelisetty R, Bickel CS. Physical activity and exercise in person with Parkinson’s disease. Journal of Physical Activity and Health. 2010; 7: 724-729.
Ford MP, Malone L, Nyikos I, Yelisetty R, Bickel CS. Gait training with high rhythm rates in persons with Parkinson’s disease. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 2010; 91:1255-1261.
Dibble LE, Cavanaugh JT, Earhart GM, Ellis TD, Ford MP, Foreman KB. Charting the progression of disability in parkinson disease: study protocol for a prospective longitudinal cohort study. BMC Neurology. 2010;10:110.
Ford MP, Wagenaar RC, Newell KM. Arm constraint and walking in healthy adults. Gait and Posture. 2007; 26:135-141.
Ford MP, Wagenaar RC, Newell KM. Effects of auditory rhythms on walking in persons with stroke. Gait and Posture. 2007; 26-150-155.
Ford MP, Wagenaar RC, Newell KM. Phase manipulation during walking in stroke. Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy. 2007; 31: 85-91