Announcing the 2019 LSVT Global Student Grant Awardees for Physical Therapy

We congratulate the 2019 Physical Therapy Student Grant Recipients!

We are extremely pleased to announce the two winners of the $1500 student treatment research grants for physical therapy: Emily Gubbins, DPT Candidate from SUNY Upstate Medical University and Samantha Everett, DPT Candidate from Elon University. These grants are designed to support and promote treatment research in people with neurological conditions. The grants are non-restrictive, provided the treatment being researched is in a neurological population. Grants are awarded based on an independent peer-review process led by Dr. Geralyn Schulz, PhD, CCC-SLP, LSVT Global’s grant manager.

This year’s winners represent a range of diversity from investigating the impact of BIG for LIFE community based exercises classes for maintenance of motor function in people with Parkinson’s disease to the effects of cooling vests on endurance and performance during dual tasking in people with multiple sclerosis.

Read on to learn more about our winners and their projects.

Our 2020 grants program is open now. To learn more, please download our Physical Therapy Grant Handout 2020.

Physical Therapy Awardees

Emily Gubbins

Physical Therapy Student

DPT Candidate

SUNY Upstate Medical University

“BIG for Life: Community Exercise Exploration”

The Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT) developed in 1987 to improve voice quality and volume in those with Parkinson’s Disease has expanded to include a movement program for physical and occupational therapy called LSVT Big. LSVT Big follows the same guiding principles as LSVT LOUD; a single focus of treatment, high effort treatment, intensive treatment, calibration, and quantification of results. The LSVT Big program has been found to be an effective treatment for individuals with Parkinson’s Disease, showing improvements in balance, mobility, ability to perform dual task, postural control, and reduction in fall risk. There has been little research performed to date however, regarding the use of the components of this program to assist with maintenance of function for participants who have successfully completed the LSVT Big program. The BIG for LIFE program is a newly developed community-based exercise group for those with Parkinson’s Disease who have completed the LSVT Big program. This study will investigate the impact of this weekly exercise group on motor function (i.e. balance, gait, balance confidence) and adherence to a home exercise program.

Samantha Everett

Physical Therapy Student

DPT Candidate

Elon University

“The Effects of a Cooling Vest on Endurance and Functional Performance While Dual-Tasking in Persons with Multiple Sclerosis: A Pilot Study”

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease of the central nervous system that results in a progressive degeneration of the myelin sheath that surrounds the nerves. Persons with multiple sclerosis (PwMS) often experience cognitive and motor fatigue that is exacerbated by increases in environmental and body temperature. Additionally, PwMS often have greater difficulty performing concurrent cognitive and motor tasks that presents as a dual-task decrement. The change in cognitive and/or motor performance under such dual-task conditions is often measured using dual-task cost, which is defined as the percent change in a variable from single-task to dual-task. Heat sensitivity combined with an increased dual-task cost may hinder rehabilitative outcomes, performing activities of daily living, and overall quality of life for PwMS. Fatigability is a relatively new concept in the literature that objectively assesses how one’s performance changes due to fatigue throughout a task. In past studies, decreasing body temperature with frequent rest breaks, cold drinks, and cool baths has been used to address heat sensitivity. More recently, portable cooling vests have proven to be a practical application to use with daily activities. To our knowledge, only one study has showed benefits of using a cooling vest during training for improving cognitive and physical performance and perceived fatigue in PwMS. However, it is currently unknown if these benefits extend to dual-task conditions. The proposed pilot study will investigate the effects of an aerobic and resistance training program with a cooling vest on dual-task cost and fatigability in PwMS.

“Treatment research is the foundation of the PT, OT and SLP disciplines. By providing seed funding for graduate and post doctoral students, LSVT Global seeks to provide a foundation for these student researchers to become the leaders in their fields.”

– Geralyn Schulz, PhD, CCC-SLP, Grants Manager, LSVT Global