2022 Huntington's Disease Human Biology Project Awards
The Huntington's Disease Society of America (HDSA) announced 2022 recipients of their Huntington's Disease Human Biology Project research grants. The Human Biology Project was launched in 2013 with the goal of fostering innovative research in collaboration with HD clinics to better understand the biology of Huntington’s disease as it occurs in humans.
Paul Dennis, MFA, professor at Hunter College, was one of the six 2022 awardees.
His research project titled Movement Intervention for Neurodegenerative Disease (MIND): Dance for Huntington’s Disease (DfHD) will be conducted under the mentorship of Ashwini K. Rao Ed.D, OTR, FAOTA, Professor of Rehabilitation and Regenerative Medicine (Physical Therapy) in the Gertrude H. Sergievsky Center at CUIMC.
Paul Dennis’ research blends studies in Laban/Barenieff Movement Analysis (L/BMA) and dance with research in neuroscience to examine the effects of L/BMA-based dance on the functional mobility in individuals with Huntington’s Disease (HD). While regular exercise is often recommended for people with Huntington’s Disease (HD), there are no rigorous clinical studies examining the use of dance as an intervention to improve daily functioning and quality of life of those living with HD. Using the framework of the Laban/Bartenieff Movement System, Dr. Dennis has partnered with a team of HD-experienced physical therapy and neurology specialists to assess safety as well as cognitive and movement benefits of a weekly dance program for people with HD.