Document Type

Honors Project

First Advisor

Dr. Laura Desportes

Degree Award Date

Fall 2003


Single-Subject Reversal Design, Conductive Education, Individual, Hallervorden-Spatz Disease, muscle spasticity, muscle degeneration, rhythmic intention


Medicine and Health Sciences | Movement and Mind-Body Therapies | Physical Therapy | Sports Medicine


In this single-subject reversal design study, a 33-year old Black female served as the participant. This woman, whom will be referred to as Rose, has Hallervorden-Spatz Disease. The disease, similar to Cerebral Palsy (CP), presents with muscle spasticity and degeneration. The study examined the use of Conductive Education (CE) to improve motor response. Conductive Education uses rhythmic intention to assist the individual with their daily movements. This method has been utilized with individuals with CP and has shown to work well in reducing muscle rigidity. The intervention did seem to help Rose with her muscle rigidity. After the treatment she was able to raise both of her arms above her head, a movement that she previously could not perform. However, when returning back to the baseline phase, Rose was able to perform the task. It appears that learning took place and it is hard to determine whether the treatment was really effective or if it was taking the time to work with Rose specifically on this skill.