Penn kicks off REACT! Study: The Rhythm Experience and Africana Culture Trial

Last week, the University of Pennsylvania officially kicked off their first round of The Rhythm Experience and Africana Culture Trial, also known as the REACT! Study, led by Kathy Jedrziewski, PhD, Deputy Director of the Institute on Aging. This Alzheimer’s Association-funded study is being conducted in collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh’s Brain Aging & Cognitive Health (BACH) Lab, led by the study’s Principal Investigator Kirk I. Erickson, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh.

This research study will compare two activities, African Dance and an Education/Discussion group, which Drs. Jedrziewski and Erikson believe could be beneficial for older African Americans (ages 65-75). The study will examine whether brain health, fitness levels or quality of life improve as a result of participating in these activities three times per week for six months.

However, after the first week of classes, participants are already praising the benefits. With just a few short days under their belts, several members from both the education and dance groups said they have already learned so much and look forward to seeing what is to come. This study not only gives them the opportunity to enhance their socialization and perhaps their physical and cognitive health, but it also allows them to help others in the aging African American community through this research by providing evidence about potentially effective ways to improve and maintain quality of life as we age.


While the study has already started, coordinators will continue to recruit on a rolling basis. If you or anyone you know is interested in participating in the REACT! Study, contact:

Philadelphia – Penn Campus
Shardae Williams, Project Coordinator

Pittsburgh – The BACH Lab at the University of Pittsburgh

For more information, visit:

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