Mental imagery refers to forming pictures in the mind and can have various forms such as visual imagery or motor imagery. It is a behavioral intervention that has been used successfully for numerous health promoting and performance enhancing purposes. In brain imaging studies, mental imagery has been shown to recruit virtually the same brain regions as the actual visual or motor tasks. This suggests that mental imagery has the potential to be used as a method for brain training. In this study, we investigate the effects of mental imagery combined with functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) on motor and cognitive performance and brain function in individuals with Parkinson’s disease.
MRI is a noninvasive imaging technique and does not include X-rays. It will allow us to observe how your brain activity changes in response to mental imagery training. We will also measure your motor function using various behavioral tests.
The study will consist of a total of 4 visits over a span of 6-8 weeks, each lasting between 1-3 hours in the morning. During these visits, you will be expected to do physical tasks (for example, walking, balancing, etc.), paper-pencil tests, and surveys. There will also be MRI scanning sessions for no longer than 1 hour to take images of your brain. In between visits, we will ask you to practice mental imagery at home for 15 min on a daily basis.
Visits will take place at the Yale Magnetic Resonance Research Center in The Anlyan Building located on 300 Cedar St, New Haven, CT, 06519
Before we can enroll you into the study, we must go through your medical history and a MRI screening questionnaire for your own safety.