Max Orovitz Laboratory

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The research at the Max Orovitz Laboratory can be divided into two major categories, test development and training protocols, reflective of the use of a diagnosis/prescription model to maximize exercise interventions. Among the published diagnostic testing studies published in the last two years, three, performed in collaboration with the Medical School Department of Neurology, have concentrated on the use of a low-cost, depth sensor to analyze Parkinsonian gait, while two incorporated 3D-movement analysis to develop assessment models for chair stands and moderate-weight object transfers in older persons. A second unique collaboration with the Departments of Neurology and Ophthalmology, has allowed us to expand upon our work on exercise and cognition through the development of a retinal scan test that mirrors change in the brain reflective of cognitive improvements. In collaboration with the University of Miami Sports Medicine Institute, we have used 3D motion analysis, electromyography and isometric strength testing to evaluate the viability of two different grafts used for anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. We have also examined novel testing changes in the evaluation of isoinertial and isometric strength. For training prescriptions, we have examined the impacts of power training, functional training and yoga on fall probability and independence in our older community members with and without Parkinson’s disease. Further, we have developed targeted weight-training programs and yoga protocols to target cognitive improvements in these populations. Finally, our collaboration with the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center has demonstrated the positive impact of a novel multidirectional walking program on stem cell transplant patients. Current studies concentrate on developing an augmented reality executive function test, validation of a markerless 3D analysis system and developing strength and power norms for persons over fifty. We are proud that nearly every project and publication includes undergraduate research volunteers.