Alexander Pantelyat, M.D.
Alexander Pantelyat, M.D. is the Alafouzos Family 2021 CIM/HAP Scholar. He is an Associate Professor of Neurology at Johns Hopkins who focuses on atypical Parkinson’s Disease. He is also a talented violinist, who with his HAP scholarship aims to make music and rhythm an integral part of treating aging-related illnesses. His studies have shown that interventions such as singing can improve mood, speech, and swallowing in patients with Parkinson’s disease. More recently, in a pilot study of patients with severe (atypical) PD and poor gait, Pantelyat showed that walking to a march-like beat resulted in improved gait and balance — benefits that carried over even after the music stopped. As a HAP scholar, he is working now with an industry sponsor to develop a wearable device — a sensor on the shoe linked to a phone app with a playlist of favorite tunes — that will adjust the music’s tempo to the wearer’s gait. The goal of this program is to give patients with Parkinson’s and other aging-related conditions the opportunity to walk their way to better health at home.