Margaret Schenkman, PT, PhD, FAPTA
Dr. Schenkman is Professor Emerita at the University of Colorado Denver. Over the past 30 years, Margaret has worked with people who have Parkinson's disease. She began this work while on the faculty at the MGH Institute of Health Professions in the 1980s. She continued her work at Duke University, and most recently at the University of Colorado Denver, where she served as Director of the Physical Therapy program prior to her retirement in 2020. Margaret has published numerous articles related to interventions, quality of life, cost of the disease, and measurement of impairments and function of those who live with PD. Much of her work has focused on developing and testing approaches to physical intervention that can help people in the early- and mid-stages of PD to stay active and independent despite the disorder. In 2012, she published the first long-term study of exercise, comparing outcomes from 121 people who participated in one of three types of exercise for 16 months. She then led a multi-site study (taking place in the Denver area, Chicago, and Pittsburgh) to determine whether two different intensities of aerobic conditioning slow progression of symptoms of people not yet on medications for PD; the findings were published in JAMA Neurology in 2018. Her current research focuses on the benefits of meditation for increasing resilience and reducing depression and anxiety among health professional students, epigenetics associated with long-term meditation, and expansion of consciousness with meditation.