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Funded Studies

Richard Macko, MD

Professor of Neurology at University of Maryland -- VA Center of Excellence in Exercise and Robotics

Richard Macko is a neurologist specializing in cerebrovascular disorders and exercise rehabilitation to improve functional mobility and cardiovascular health in neurological disability conditions. He is Professor of Neurology, Medicine – Division of Gerontology, and Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Science (PTRS) at University of Maryland School of Medicine and the Baltimore VA Medical Center. His position as Academic Director of Rehabilitation Medicine at University of Maryland School of Medicine, Director of the Baltimore VA Exercise & Robotics Center of Excellence, and Associate Director for Research in the Baltimore VA Geriatrics Research, Education, and Clinical Center (GRECC) helped to formulate the interdisciplinary team that now proposes to study exercise in PD for this MJF Proposal. Dr. Macko’s major research is in developing and disseminating models of task-oriented exercise that combine contemporary models of motor learning with exercise rehabilitation to improve functional mobility and cardiovascular health for individuals with neurological disabilities. The focus is on mechanistic studies of exercise-mediated central and peripheral adaptations that define how therapies are effective, and combining emerging technologies such as robotics (MIT-Anklebot) with exercise to improve locomotor outcomes. While much of his prior work has focused on stroke, increasing clinical and experimental data suggest that motor-learning based exercise strategies have potential to improve multiple physiological systems which determine disability in other condtions, including Parkinson’s disease. Hence, the Baltimore Exercise & Robotics Research Consortium lead by Dr. Macko has a mission to develop task-oriented training models that enable individuals with a diversity of neurological conditions to delay disability and improve long-term cardiovascular health with exercise.

Associated Grants

  • Treadmill Training and Gait-Related Disability in Parkinson’s Disease


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