Rehabilitation of Airway Protection in Parkinson's Disease: Comparing In-Person and Telehealth Service Delivery Models

The objective of this application is to pair EMST + CST – and compare clinical and patient-centered outcomes when conducted in-person versus via telehealth in the short- and the long-term. Also, we will assess the role of specific patient burden factors and resultant treatment adherence on clinical outcomes.

Role: Principal Investigator      

Improving the Implementation of Cough Skill Training in Clinical Practice

The objective of this seed grant is to: 1) develop a software to facilitate the administration and clinical outcome measures of our cough training paradigm, and 2) determine the optimal practice conditions that facilitate cough motor adaptation in neurodegenerative diseases.

Role: Principal Investigator

Improving Accessibility to Multi-Disciplinary Clinical Care for Parkinson’s Disease via a Telehealth Model

The objective of this application is to assess the feasibility of coordinated multidisciplinary care by SLPs and PTs via telehealth in PD. This first step will provide necessary preliminary evidence to support a larger application to the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).

Role: Principal Investigator    

Pending Review


Investigating the Effects of Dual Tasking on Cough Reflex Sensitivity in Spinocerebellar Ataxia

The objective of this application, a necessary step in pursuit of our long-term goal, is to better define deficits of cough in SCA and describe the influence of cortical load on reflexive cough outcomes.

Role: Mentor

Novel Management of Airway Protection in Parkinson's disease: A clinical trial

The overarching aim of the proposed study is to determine the efficacy of two novel, distinct, and intensive rehabilitation paradigms, expiratory muscle strength training (EMST) and sensorimotor treatment for airway protection (smTAP), on airway protective clinical outcomes in persons with PD and dysphagia.  We anticipate our results will lead to reductions in the risks associated with airway protective deficits in PD.                 

Role: Principal Investigator             

Developing treatments for swallowing and communication deficits in PSP
The objective of this application is to better define airway protective deficits and communicative dysfunction in PSP and to test the feasibility of multiple treatment targets on airway protection and communication in PSP.  The information to be gleaned from this study has the potential to substantially shift the approach to management of airway protective and communication disorders in PSP by identifying therapeutic targets and potential behavioral biomarkers.

Role: Co-Principal Investigator

Investigating the Role of Attentional Resource Allocation on Cough Reflex Sensitivity in Parkinson’s Disease

The objective of this application is to understand the effect of cognitive demands on the reflexive cough response in both healthy older adults (HOA) and people with PD.

Role: Mentor 

Neurological control of the swallow reflex

The goal of the research is to identify the somatosensory neuron classes present in the swallow apparatus (e.g. mechano- , chemosensory) of humans and rodents, testing whether these neurons are necessary for a normal swallow, and analyzing whether these are altered in aged humans with dysphagia and animal models.

 Role: Investigator

Airway protection deficits according to stimulus type in Parkinson’s disease
The objective of this study was to test the efficacy of a novel screening device to detect airway protective deficits in a large cohort of people with Parkinson’s disease.
Role: Sub-Investigator; PI for Sub-contract to Columbia University
PI: Karen Hegland, University of Florida


NIH (NCATS) CTSA awards to the University of Florida UL1TR000064 and KL2TR000065
Airway protective mechanisms and Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery in Parkinson’s disease

The overarching aim of the proposed study was to prospectively study the effects of unilateral subthalamic nucleus (STN) vs. globus pallidus interna (GPi) deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery in Parkinson’s disease on swallowing and cough function. This aim was achieved by testing the swallowing and cough function of 40 consecutive patients with PD receiving DBS surgery.

Role: KL2 Fellow/Principal Investigator 

Clinical-Research Neurorehabilitation Center at Teachers College, Columbia University

This application proposes the creation of the Clinical-Research Neurorehabilitation Center (CRNC) at

Teachers College, Columbia University.  The applicants of this proposal, both licensed speech-language pathologists (SLPs) and experienced clinical researchers in adult neurogenic populations, are uniquely qualified to oversee the creation and growth of a center focused on neurorehabilitation within the context of an academic model.

Role: Co-Principal Investigator

Clinical Research Initiative in Rehabilitation for Neurodegenerative Diseases

This application proposes an initiative aimed at strengthening clinical research for rehabilitation in neurodegenerative disease at Teachers College.  The funding will be used to enhance the collaboration between the Neurorehabilitation Research Laboratory and the Upper Airway Dysfunction Laboratory (both housed in the Department of Biobehavioral Sciences) and the Movement Disorders Division at Columbia University Medical Center.  The goal is to promote access to critical patient populations which will enhance and facilitate the clinical research agenda in rehabilitation for neurodegenerative diseases at Teachers College and Columbia University. 

Role: Co-Principal Investigator


Using Expiratory Muscle Strength Training (EMST) for dysphagia in PD in the community setting

The primary objective of this study is to assess whether an intensive home program of EMST can improve swallowing safety for individuals with Parkinson’s disease in the community setting. 

Role: Primary Mentor

PI: Marinda Brooks


Effects of Singing on Speech and Swallow in Patients with Parkinson’s Disease
The aim of this pilot study was to test the effects of group singing on functional speech and swallowing outcomes in persons with PD. 

Role: Sub-Investigator
PI: Elizabeth Stegemoller, PhD
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