Alberts, Jay, PhD

Research Statement

The aim of my research is to understand structure-function relationships within the central nervous system and the upper extremity. My research focuses on determining how grasping forces and torques are controlled and coordinated during functional dexterous manipulations. Investigation of movement patterns produced by different patient groups and healthy adults provides a window into the brain with respect to the control of voluntary movement.

We work with Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients to determine the role of the basal ganglia in movement control. Recently, we have shown that unilateral deep brain stimulation provides long-term bilateral motor benefits. We are also comparing the effects of assisted vs. voluntary exercise on PD motor function.

These studies suggest that central motor control processing may be improved by “assisted exercise” (e.g., a patient’s “passive” leg movements being generated by the pedaling of a healthy partnering cyclist on a tandem bicycle). Studies comparing motor performance in old vs. young adults reveal the effects of normal aging on motor function. We have shown that older adults have specific impairments in the release of grasping forces, which may contribute to diminished hand function. Overall, these data provide insight into mechanisms underlying upper-extremity motor function. These investigations have the potential to improve clinical practice through better methods of motor assessment.

The objective, quantitative assessment of motor function will aid in disease diagnostic capability and specificity, slowing of disease progression and intervention efficacy for patients in which movement is compromised.

Professional Affiliations

  • Investigator, Cleveland FES Center
  • Vice Chair of Health Technology Enablement, Neurological Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH
  • Director, Cleveland Clinic Concussion Center
  • The Edward and Barbara Bell Endowed Chair, Lerner Research Institute and Center for Neurological Restoration, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH

Publications (select)

  • Wolf SL, Sahu K, Bay RC, Buchanan S, Reiss A, Linder S, Rosenfeldt A, Alberts J. The HAAPI (Home Arm Assistance Progression Initiative) Trial: A Novel Robotics Delivery Approach in Stroke Rehabilitation. Neurorehabil Neural Repair. 2015 Nov-Dec;29(10):958-68. doi: 10.1177/1545968315575612. Epub 2015 Mar 17. PubMed PMID: 25782693
  • Shah C, Beall EB, Frankemolle AM, Penko A, Phillips MD, Lowe MJ, Alberts JL. Exercise Therapy for Parkinson’s Disease: Pedaling Rate Is Related to Changes in Motor Connectivity. Brain Connect. 2015 Oct 20. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 26414696
  • Alberts JL, Thota A, Hirsch J, Ozinga S, Dey T, Schindler DD, Koop MM, Burke D, Linder SM. Quantification of the Balance Error Scoring System with Mobile Technology. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2015 Oct;47(10):2233-40. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000000656. PubMed PMID: 26378948
  • Ozinga SJ, Machado AG, Miller Koop M, Rosenfeldt AB, Alberts JL. Objective assessment of postural stability in Parkinson’s disease using mobile technology. Mov Disord. 2015 Aug;30(9):1214-21. doi: 10.1002/mds.26214. Epub 2015 Mar 25. PubMed PMID: 25809137
  • Linder SM, Rosenfeldt AB, Rasanow M, Alberts JL. Forced Aerobic Exercise Enhances Motor Recovery After Stroke: A Case Report. Am J Occup Ther. 2015 Jul-Aug;69(4):6904210010p1-8. doi: 10.5014/ajot.2015.015636. PubMed PMID: 26114455
  • Alberts JL, Hirsch JR, Koop MM, Schindler DD, Kana DE, Linder SM, Campbell S, Thota AK. Using Accelerometer and Gyroscopic Measures to Quantify Postural Stability. J Athl Train. 2015 Jun;50(6):578-88. doi: 10.4085/1062-6050-50.2.01. Epub 2015 Apr 6. PubMed PMID: 25844853
  • Rosenfeldt AB, Rasanow M, Penko AL, Beall EB, Alberts JL. The cyclical lower extremity exercise for Parkinson’s trial (CYCLE): methodology for a randomized controlled trial. BMC Neurol. 2015 Apr 24;15:63. doi: 10.1186/s12883-015-0313-5. PubMed PMID: 25902768; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4415238. ec;29(10):958-68. doi: 10.1177/1545968315575612. Epub 2015 Mar 17. PubMed PMID: 25782693
  • Mills KA, Markun LC, San Luciano M, Rizk R, Allen IE, Racine CA, Starr PA, Alberts JL, Ostrem JL. Effect of subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation on dual-task cognitive and motor performance in isolated dystonia. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatr. 2015 Apr;86(4):404–409. doi: 10.1136/jnnp-2014-307942 Pubmed PMID: 25012202
  • Linder SM, Rosenfeldt AB, Bay RC, Sahu K, Wolf SL, Alberts JL. Improving Quality of Life and Depression After Stroke Through Telerehabilitation. Am J Occup Ther. 2015 Apr;69(2):6902290020p1–6902290020p10. doi: 10.5014/ajot.2015.014498 Pubmed PMID: 26122686
  • Ozinga SJ, Machado AG, Miller Koop M, Rosenfeldt AB, Alberts JL. Objective assessment of postural stability in Parkinson’s disease using mobile technology. Mov Disord. 2015 Mar 25; doi: 10.1002/mds.26214 Pubmed PMID: 25809137
  • Wolf SL, Sahu K, Bay RC, Buchanan S, Reiss A, Linder S, Rosenfeldt A, Alberts J. The HAAPI (Home Arm Assistance Progression Initiative) Trial: A Novel Robotics Delivery Approach in Stroke Rehabilitation. Neurorehabil Neural Repair. 2015 Mar 17; doi: 10.1177/1545968315575612 Pubmed PMID: 25782693
  • Rosenfeldt AB, Rasanow M, Penko AL, Beall EB, Alberts JL. The cyclical lower extremity exercise for Parkinson’s trial (CYCLE): methodology for a randomized controlled trial. BMC Neurol. 2015;15:63. doi: 10.1186/s12883-015-0313-5 Pubmed PMID: 25902768

Research Programs

  • Deep Brain Stimulation and Motor Function in Parkinson’s Patients

Contact Information

Contact Name: Jay Alberts
Contact Email: albertj@ccf.org