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ISAC Supported Pilot Projects

2019 ISAC Pilot Grant Awardees


Awardee: On-Yee (Amy) Lo, PhD / Co-PI: Brad Manor, PhD

Title: The feasibility of combining noninvasive brain stimulation and physical therapy to improve gait and balance in older adults with recent falls

Goal: Falls are caused not only by functional deficits within muscles and nerves, but also because of age- or disease-related changes in the brain networks. Physical therapy (PT) currently focuses primarily on improving muscle and nerve functions, but this pilot work will determine the feasibility to implement a non-invasive brain stimulation, called transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), as an effective adjunct to PT, to improve both brain and body control of balance in older adults with high risk of falls.




Awardee: Shivani Sahni, PhD / Co-PI: Stephen Juraschek, MD/PhD

Title: The effect of sodium reduction on blood pressure and physical function in older adults

Goal: To determine the feasibility of an individual-level, randomized feeding study that examines the impact of low-sodium diet on blood pressure regulation among semi-independent older adults from Jack Satter House. This study will be executed in collaboration with BIDMC and Dietetic Services of the Jack Satter House (Revere). Pilot data from this study will be utilized in planning a larger clinical trial with the aim of discovering dietary interventions that enhance physical function in older adults.