Ashwini K.Rao, EdD, OTR

Associate Professor of Clinical Rehabilitation and Regenerative Medicine
(Program in Physical Therapy and G.H. Sergievsky Center)
Post Doctoral Training: Computational Motor Control, Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine
Post Doctoral Training: Movement Sciences, Columbia University
EdD Movement Science (Motor Control and Learning), Teacher’s College/Columbia University
MA Occupational Therapy (Developmental Disabilities), New York University
Post-Graduate Diploma in Rehabilitation, All India Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
BOT Occupational Therapy, Institute for the Physical Handicapped, New Delhi, India
Clinical Interests
Movement disorders, neurological rehabilitation, occupational therapy

Honors and Awards
2012- Keynote speaker, Huntington' Disease Clinical Research Symposium, Huntington Study Group, Seattle Washington
2010- Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Career Development Award
2009- Keynote Speaker at Fourth European GAITRite Conference, University Hospital Basel Switzerland
2008- Associate Editor, American Journal of Occupational Therapy
2007- Invited speaker at Parkinson's Disease Foundation 50th Anniversary Educational Symposium

Research Interests

Examination of sensori-motor impairments in movement disorders (including basal ganglia and cerebellar disorders)

Understanding the mechanisms underlying motor impairments, and developing novel methods of rehabilitation interventions.

Specific projects:
1) Motor Impairments in Huntington Disease: Mechanisms and Outcome Measures
2) Gait and Balance impairments in Essential Tremor
3) Gait and motor impairments in Parkinson's disease
4) Motor impairments in Spinal Muscular Atrophy
5) Gait impairments in Cri-du-Chat syndrome

Teaching Responsibilities

Neuroscience (with Dr. Kinirons)
Movement Sciences (with Dr. Clare Bassile)
PT Management of the Adult with Neurological Conditions (with Drs. Clare Bassile and Martha Sliwinski)
Advanced Seminar in Adult Neuro-rehabilitation (with Dr. Bassile) Capstone Project advisement

Scholarly Productivity
Recent Publications

Louis ED, Rao AK, Gerbin M. Functional correlates of gait and balance difficulty in essential tremor: Balance confidence, near misses and falls. Gait Posture. 2012, 35(1): 43-47.

Gutman SA, Rafael EI, Rao AK. Effect of a Motor Based Role Play Intervention on the Social Behaviors of Adolescents with High Functioning Autism: Multiple Baseline Single Subject Design. In Press, American Journal of Occupational Therapy.

Rao AK, Mazzoni P, Wasserman P, Marder K. Longitudinal Change in Gait and Motor Function in Pre-manifest Huntington's Disease. PLoS Curr. 2011 Oct 4;3:RRN1268.

Rao, A.K. Gillman, A, and Louis, E.D. Quantitative gait analysis in essential tremor reveals impairments that are maintained into advanced age. Gait and Posture. 2011, 34: 65-70.

Louis, E.D. and Rao, A.K. Reply: Tandem gait performance in essential tremor. Movement Disorders. 2011, 26(5): 933.

Rao, A.K., Marder, K.S. and Gordon, A.M Impairment in precision grip control in pre-manifest Huntington’s disease. Movement Disorders. 2011, 26(5): 862-869.

Montes, J., Dunaway, S., Montgomery, M.J., Sproule, D., Kaufmann, P., De Vivo, D.C., and Rao, A.K. Fatigue Leads to Gait Changes in Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Muscle and Nerve. 2011, 43(4): 485-488.

Louis, E.D., Rios, E. and Rao, A.K. Tandem Gait Performance in Essential Tremor: Clinical Correlates and Association with Midline Tremors. Movement Disorders, 2010, 25(11): 1633-1638.

Rao, A.K. Enabling functional independence in Parkinson’s disease: Update on Occupational therapy intervention. Movement Disorders. 2010, 25(Supp.1): 146-151.

Rao, A.K., Louis, E.D. and Marder, K.S. Clinical assessment of mobility and balance impairments in pre-symptomatic Huntington’s disease. Gait and Posture: 2009, 30: 391-393.

Rao, A.K., Muratori, L., Louis, E.D., Moskowitz, C.B. and Marder, K.S. Clinical measurement of mobility and balance impairments in Huntington’s disease: Validity and responsiveness. Gait & Posture: 2009, 29: 433-436.

Rao, A.K. Role of occupational therapy movement disorders of the basal ganglia. Invited paper. In press Physical Disabilities Special Interest Section Quarterly. 2008, 31(3), 1-4.

Rao, A.K., Muratori, L., Louis, E.D., Moskowitz, C.B. and Marder, K.S. Spectrum of gait impairments in Presymptomatic and symptomatic Huntington’s disease. Movement Disorders, 2008, Vol 23 (8): pp. 1100-1107.

Shadmehr R, Donchin O, Hwang EJ, Hemminger SE, and Rao A.K. Learning dynamics of reaching.  In: Motor Cortex in Voluntary Movements.  A. Riehle and E. Vaadia (editors), 2005, CRC Press, pp. 297-328.

Rao, A.K., Quinn, L. and Marder, K. Test-retest reliability of gait outcome measures in Huntington’s disease. Movement Disorders, 2005, 20 (8), 1033-1037.

Quinn, L. and Rao, A.K.. Physical Therapy and Huntington’s disease: current perspectives and case report. Neurology Report: 2002, 26 (3), 145-153.

Rao, A.K. and Gordon, A.M. Contribution of tactile information to accuracy in pointing. Experimental Brain Research, 2001, 138: 438-445.

Flanagan JR and Rao AK (1995). Trajectory adaptation to a non-linear visuomotor transformation: evidence for motion planning in visually perceived space. Journal of Neurophysiology, 74(5): 2174-2178.

Book Chapters
Rao, A.K. Approaches to motor control dysfunction: Updated review of the evidence. In Stroke Rehabilitation, G. Gillen (Ed). St. Louis, MO: Mosby. 2010: 117-155.

Quinn, L., Busse, M., Broad, M., Dawes, H., Ekwall, C., Fritz, N., Heemskerk, A-W, Hopkins, C., Jones, U., Kegelmeyer, D., Khalil, H., Kloos, A., Meek, C., Owen, J., Rao, A.K., Sands, R. and Waters, R. Physiotherapy Guidance Document. 2009, European Huntington’s Disease Network. Ulm, Germany.

Rao, A.K. Cognition and Motor Skills. In A. Henderson & C. Pehosky (Eds.). Hand Function in the Child: Foundations for remediation. St. Louis: MO. Mosby-Elsevier. 2005: 101-113.

Grant and Funding

Current Research Support

Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Career Development Award (K01): Principal Investigator: Motor Impairments in Huntington’s disease: Mechanisms and outcome measures. 2010-2014

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke R01: Co-Investigator: Pathogenesis of Essential Tremor: Cerebellar metabolism. 2009-2013

Michael J. Fox Foundation: Co-Investigator: Gait and motor symptoms in healthy asymptomatic relatives of patients with PD carriers of mutations in the LRRK2 gene. 2012-2014

Professional Activities

Associate Editor: American Journal of Occupational Therapy

Manuscript Reviewer: Physical Therapy, Movement Disorders, Annals of Neurology, Neurology, Gait and Posture, Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, Journal of the Neurological Sciences, Tremor and Other Hyperkinetic Disorders, Journal of Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation, European Journal of Neurology, Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair