Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 11-29-2023

Faculty Advisor(s)

Dr. Rahul Soangra


This project seeks to identify a correlation between consistent, functional exercise and posture, balance, stability and gait in patients with Parkinson’s Disease (PD). PD is a neurodegenerative disease that decreases levels of dopamine in the Basal Ganglia of the brain, resulting in symptoms such as excessive freezing or erratic, involuntary movements, ultimately affecting a person’s ability to ambulate safely and independently. This study consisted of three main approaches to build a firm base of knowledge for this field of research. The first component was to test the limits of stability in healthy individuals for a baseline comparison to people with PD. Next, a function-based exercise routine (the Functional Exercises for Balance and Step, also known as the FEBS routine) was developed specifically to reflect functional movements people with PD typically lose over time (based on literature and expert opinion). Finally, the utilization of motion capture technology was used to analyze gait, posture, and stability in both healthy and PD-diagnosed individuals to analyze differences in posture, gait, balance, and stability. The culmination of these foundational components were brought together in this study to first identify a significant disparity in healthy individuals and people with PD in terms of gait, postural stability, and balance. A secondary aim of this study is to use this data in future studies, for identification of how consistent functional exercises over a longer period of time can affect the posture, gait, balance, and stability of people diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.


Presented at the Fall 2023 Student Scholar Symposium at Chapman University.