Parkinson’s Disease



Parkinson’s disease (PD) is characterized by slowness of movement, flexed posture, and postural instability – all of which may lead to falls. We are conducting studies to identify specific components of postural instability in people with PD, with an emphasis on  characterizing how novel treatment strategies such as Osteopathic Manipulation can reduce falls. Dr. Kendi Hensel and Dr.Rita Patterson are investigating the effects of Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM) in the treatment of persons with PD using state-of-the-art motion capture technology (CAREN, MotekForce Link). It is anticipated that OMM can help improve postural control through reducing variations in body kinematics during gait and balance activities.


Hensel Web

Kendi Hensel, DO, PhD is board-certified in FP/OMT and NMM/OMM. She has extensive experience in conducting and participating in studies on OMT. She is uniquely qualified to investigate the biomechanical effects of OMT, and to translate those findings to clinical conditions that may be amenable to a comprehensive treatment program such as Parkinson Disease. She will be responsible for the overall management of the project as well as for the OMT interventions and reporting results.



Rita Patterson 2


Rita M. Patterson, PhD is a biomedical engineer and has worked in clinical departments alongside clinicians applying engineering principles to solve clinical problems. She has extensive experience using motion capture technology to calculate human movement kinematics. She will be responsible for developing the protocol for kinematic collection, subject testing, analyzing data and reporting results.