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Improved mobility, cognition and disease severity in Corticobasal Degeneration of an African-American male after 12 weeks of Adapted tango

a case study

Silverstein, Hayley A., BA1; Hart, Ariel R., BA1; Bozorg, Ariyana, MS2; Hackney, Madeleine E., PhD1,2

American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation: February 19, 2019 - Volume Publish Ahead of Print - Issue - p
doi: 10.1097/PHM.0000000000001165
Case Report: PDF Only

Corticobasal degeneration (CBD) has no available treatment to slow disease progression and generally resists drug therapy. CBD has symptoms and decreased quality of life similar to Parkinson’s disease. Adapted Tango, a successful rehabilitation for Parkinson’s, may address CBD. A 63-year-old African-American male with CBD (alias: YD; CBD duration=2 years) was evaluated for motor, cognitive and psychosocial function before, immediately after, one-month after and six-months after 12 weeks of 20, bi-weekly 90-minute AT lessons. After intervention, disease-related motor symptoms improved and YD reported fewer problems in non-motor experiences of daily living, which include mood, cognition, pain, fatigue, etc. Motor symptoms remained above baseline at six-month posttest. YD’s balance confidence improved post-intervention, but declined below baseline at six-month posttest. Quality of life was maintained despite worsened depression. YD improved or maintained executive function, and visuospatial function and attention at posttest and one-month posttest. At posttest, YD maintained mobility and improved on dynamic balance. At one-month posttest, most mobility measures had improved relative to baseline. Yet, YD showed executive function and overall motor decline six months post-intervention. AT may have temporarily slowed disease progression, and improved or maintained mobility and cognition. Gains were poorly maintained after six months. Further study is warranted.

1 Division of General Medicine and Geriatrics, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia

2 Atlanta Veterans Affairs Rehabilitation R&D Center for Visual and Neurocognitive Rehabilitation, Decatur, Georgia

Corresponding Author: Hayley Silverstein, BA, Research Assistant, Emory University School of Medicine, Division of General Medicine and Geriatrics. E-mail:,

There are no competing interests or financial benefits to disclose. The Department of Veterans Affairs R&D Service Career Development Award N0780W supported this work and ME Hackney. The Emory Center for Health in Aging supported the study. This study was also supported by National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institutes of Health Award UL1TR000454. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health. This research was previously presented as a poster at Emory University’s Department of Medicine Day of Research in 2016.

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