Does integrated cognitive and balance (dual-task) training improve balance and reduce falls risk in individuals with cerebellar ataxia?

Stanley Winser (Corresponding Author), Marco Y.C. Pang, Jessica S. Rauszen, Anne Y.Y. Chan, Cynthia Huijun Chen, Susan L. Whitney

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Frequent falls in people with cerebellar ataxia (CA) is a significant problem Therefore, an intervention that could improve balance and reduce the number of falls is of paramount importance from the patients’ perspective. Combining cognitive training with physical training to improve balance is a new approach for reducing the risk of falls in patient populations who are at risk for falls. To determine if adding structured cognitive demands to conventional balance and coordination training we designed the Cognitive-coupled Intensive Balance Training (CIBT) program. We found that the more intensive and focused CIBT intervention reduced dual-task cost, improved balance, and reduced the number of falls in a sample of individuals with CA. We hypothesize that (1) CIBT will improve balance and reduce falls; and (2) CIBT will be a cost-effective treatment option for improving balance and reduce falls. To test these hypotheses, we propose conducting a randomized controlled trial (RCT) with economic evaluation. This paper reports the findings of our study testing the feasibility of the CIBT program, rationale for testing our hypothesis and an overview of our future study design to test the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the CIBT program.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-153
Number of pages5
JournalMedical Hypotheses
Publication statusPublished - May 2019


  • Balance training
  • Cerebellar ataxia
  • Dual-task
  • Fall prevention and economic evaluation
  • Feasibility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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