Live Course (Denver, CO June 27-28) Maximizing Motor Learning in Parkinson’s Disease: Your Cues and Feedback Matter

This two-day rehabilitation continuing education course is directed toward educating healthcare professionals on how to assess and treat both the temporal and spatial parameters of movement, using the most current research to improve balance and gait in people with Parkinson’s Disease. This interactive, lab-intensive course will • Leave participants with the confidence to produce evidence-based interventions that will improve therapeutic outcomes while working with patients with PD • Expand therapists’ toolboxes with new ways to incorporate different cues, verbal instructions and feedback in interventions to maximize motor learning • Include lecture, patient demonstrations and lab time to give the participants an opportunity to use motor learning principles and apply it with appropriate exercises to perform at the clinic, in a group setting and/or provide home exercise programs.

About this experience

This two-day rehabilitation continuing education course is directed toward educating healthcare professionals on how to assess and treat both the temporal and spatial parameters of movement, using the most current research to improve balance and gait in people with Parkinson’s Disease.


This interactive, lab-intensive course will:



  • Leave participants with the confidence to produce evidence-based interventions that will improve therapeutic outcomes while working with patients with PD.

  • Expand therapists’ toolboxes with new ways to incorporate different cues, verbal instructions and feedback in interventions to maximize motor learning.

  • Include lecture, patient demonstrations and lab time to give the participants an opportunity to use motor learning principles and apply it with appropriate exercises to perform at the clinic, in a group setting and/or provide home exercise programs.


Course Objectives:


1. Discuss principles of neuroplasticity and motor control in the treatment of gait and balance in individuals with Parkinson’s disease.


2. Develop effective assessment skills and treatment strategies to address both the temporal and spatial parameters of movement.


3. Demonstrate several evidence-based treatment interventions for postural control and gait impairments, including obstacle negotiation and turning.



Tentative Course Schedule


DAY 1


8:00-9:00 Introduction, course outline, motor learning and motor control research and best practice review, and pre-test


9:00-9:30 Review influential factors of feedback, feedback modalities (vision, auditory and haptic) and how to implement them into clinical practice


9:30-9:45 Morning Break


9:45-10:30 Review validated assessment and goals setting tools in the PD population


10:30-11:30 Review of literature of postural control and sensory re-weighting impairments and treatment (will discuss dystonia)


11:30-12:00 Lab break out: Intervention: exercises for postural control with emphasis on different modes of instruction/cues/feedback


12:00-12:30 Lunch


12:30-1:00 Review of literature balance strategies (APA, reactive, and equilibrium)


1:00-2:15 Lab break out: Exercises and demonstration of balance strategies (sit to stand, single leg stance, ankle, hip and stepping strategies)


2:15-2:30 Afternoon Break


2:30-3:15 Review of literature of gait impairments and treatment


3:15-4:00 Lab break out: exercises for gait (turning, coordination of trunk/leg/stepping, obstacle negotiation)


4:00-4:30 Dual tasking, anxiety 4:30-5:00 post-test…Q&A


DAY 2


8:00-8:30 Review from Day 1 Q&A


8:30-10:00 Review of literature of postural control and sensory re-weighting impairments and treatment (will discuss dystonia)


10:00-11:30 Lab break out: Intervention: exercises for postural control with emphasis on different modes of instruction/cues/feedback


11:30-12:30 Lunch


12:30-1:30 Review of literature of gait impairments and treatment


1:30-3:00 Lab break out: exercises for gait (turning, coordination of trunk/leg/stepping, obstacle negotiation)


3:00-3:30 Dual tasking, anxiety


3:30-3:45 Afternoon break


3:45-4:30 Patient demo


 4:30-5:00 post-test…Q&A




HOST A COURSE -. Please email us at classes@stepandconnect.com if you are interested in hosting this course at your facility!

Your Host

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Erica DeMarch is a physical therapist with 17 years of experience working with individuals with Parkinson’s disease in a variety of clinical settings and in the community. She is also the founder and CEO of Step and Connect and inventor of the state-of-the-art device, Balance Matters. Her expertise in the areas of neurorehabilitation and vestibular rehabilitation led her to develop Balance Matters, a product that incorporates multi-sensory feedback, targeting the spatial and temporal parameters of movement to improve balance and gait /maximize motor learning. She is interested in incorporating sensorimotor exercises and in how feedback, cues and verbal instructions can change how people move and balance.

Her passion to work with individuals with PD started during her graduate work at Boston University assisting in weekly group exercise classes and then studying in Amsterdam and assisting with the Rescue Project, using cueing to improve mobility in Parkinson's disease. She completed the National Parkinson Foundation Allied Team Training for PD and training as a PWR certified therapist. Erica teaches specialized group exercise classes and participated in research at Regis University studying the effects of multisensory feedback on balance and gait in people with Parkinson's disease.