Kinesiology major tackles mobility treatment for Parkinson’s disease

After winning prize, student hopes to continue education

ANGELICA RELENTE , Evergreen editor-in-chief

A sports science kinesiology major won the grand prize for her research on Parkinson’s Disease at the College of Education’s 2018 semi-annual Bruya-Wood Undergraduate Research Conference.

Collette Edge, the author of the research, defined Parkinson’s Disease as a degenerative neurological disorder.

“Individuals with Parkinson’s tend to think that they are moving at the same speed as everyone else [but] not realizing that everyone is moving much faster than they are,” Edge said.

Her research was targeted not towards curing Parkinson’s Disease but trying to minimize the chances of prolonging the effects of it, Edge said.

Edge said physical therapy can help maintain a healthy neurological system. Through her research, she found that high amplitude movements and observation-based movements can increase the quality of life for people with Parkinson’s Disease.

Dopamine replacement, which is another treatment option for Parkinson’s Disease, does not yield long term benefits, Edge said. The disease targets dopamine producing neurons, and those with the disease lost about 80 percent of those neurons, she said.

“You can supplement with dopamine,” Edge said, “but those neurons are going to continue to die off.

Listen to this podcast from Education Eclipse featuring Edge and her research.