Ongoing Research Projects

The research activities in the Center focus on investigating the impact of exercise and rehabilitation on the progression of disability in individuals with Parkinson’s disease.

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Effort and Motivation Study in Persons with Parkinson Disease

The goal of this study is to determine the effects of motivation on walking and exercise. This study involves one visit to BU and then 11 days of wearing a Fitbit to track daily steps.

Interested? Contact the AMP Lab at or 617-358-2889

Emerald: Non-Invasive Health Monitoring

Emerald is a sensor that is mounted to the wall of a home and analyzes the home and can collect information (like falls, walking speed, and sleep stages). The main goal of this study is to evaluate the accuracy of a sensor on people with Parkinson disease. The long-term goal of the project is to use the device to monitor the progression of Parkinson disease and help provide better care. To learn more about it, please visit

Interested? Contact Chen-Yu Hsu at

Synergy: Human-Machine Interaction with Mobility Enhancing Soft Exosuits

The major goal of this project is to develop patient-in- the-loop cyber-physical systems that can improve the mobility in patients with physical impairments.

Rehabilitation Enhancing Aging through Connected Health (REACH Pilot Study)

The goal of the project is to determine the effectiveness of a mobile health technology mediated exercise program in reducing disability and improving physical function in older adults with mobility decline over 1-year.

Spinal Cord Injury Virtual Coach to Promote Self-Care in Pressure Ulcer Prevention

(No longer enrolling)

The goal of this study is to develop and test the first-ever SCI Virtual Coach to provide support, education and coaching after inpatient rehabilitation to promote
skin care management in persons post SCI. Feasibility will be evaluated in a proof of concept Phase I/II pilot study measuring acceptability, adherence and preliminary evidence of efficacy.

Application of a Training Module for Peer Coaches to promote exercise adherence in people with Parkinson disease

(No longer enrolling)

You are invited to join a research study in which you would participate in a peer coaching program that you can do in the convenience of your home. Peer coaching is assisting another person to reach their walking goals with education, goal setting, problem solving and encouragement.

Eligible participants would be assigned to one of two groups, based upon their current walking activity. Those that are peer coaches will be involved in a peer coach training program. Those that are peer mentees will interact with their peer coach for 8 weeks via telephone conversations. Both groups will also wear a pedometer to track their daily steps.

Interested? Contact Cristina Colon-Semenza at at (617)358-6157 or

Telemedicine Intervention to Improve Physical Function in Persons with
Parkinson Disease

The goal of this study is to determine if a one-year home exercise program, centered on remote, real-time instruction and supervision, will reduce the rate of falls and improve strength and quality of life in patients with Parkinson Disease.

Mobile Health Technology to Promote Physical Activity in
Persons with Parkinson Disease

(No longer enrolling)

Eligible participants would be randomly assigned to one of 2 groups. Both groups will be prescribed strengthening and stretching exercises and a walking program by a licensed physical therapist to carry out for 6 months. Both groups will also wear a pedometer to track their daily steps. One group will receive exercise handouts with pictures and instructions and the other group will receive an iPad mini with video demonstrations of the exercises.

Have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease
Are able to walk without assistance for at least 6 continuous minutes
Are able to come to the Center for Neurorehabilitation at Boston University on 3-4 different occasions for assessments over a 6 month period.
If you are interested in participating in this study or learning more about it, please contact us at 617‐358‐6157 or