Effects of dance on movement control in Parkinson's disease: A comparison of Argentine tango and American ballroom

Program in Physical Therapy, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, MO 63108, USA.
Journal of rehabilitation medicine: official journal of the UEMS European Board of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (Impact Factor: 1.9). 06/2009; 41(6):475-81. DOI: 10.2340/16501977-0362
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The basal ganglia may be selectively activated during rhythmic, metered movement such as tango dancing, which may improve motor control in individuals with Parkinson's disease. Other partner dances may be more suitable and preferable for those with Parkinson's disease. The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of tango, waltz/foxtrot and no intervention on functional motor control in individuals with Parkinson's disease.
This study employed a randomized, between- notsubject, prospective, repeated measures design.
Fifty-eight people with mild-moderate Parkinson's disease participated.
Participants were randomly assigned to tango, waltz/foxtrot or no intervention (control) groups. Those in the dance groups attended 1-h classes twice a week, completing 20 lessons in 13 weeks. Balance, functional mobility, forward and backward walking were evaluated before and after the intervention.
Both dance groups improved more than the control group, which did not improve. The tango and waltz/foxtrot groups improved significantly on the Berg Balance Scale, 6-minute walk distance, and backward stride length. The tango group improved as much or more than those in the waltz/foxtrot group on several measures.
Tango may target deficits associated with Parkinson's disease more than waltz/foxtrot, but both dances may benefit balance and locomotion.

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Available from: Madeleine E Hackney, Jan 02, 2014
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    • "Eyigor, Karapolat, Durmaz, Ibisoglu, and Cakir (2009) observed that 8-week folklore dance improved the balance in older women. Hackney and Earhart (2009) verified that 13-week Tango and Waltz/Foxtrot dance improved the balance and walking. However, it is not very clear about the effects of ballroom dance on postural balance and preventing falls in the institutionalized elderly individuals. "
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of a ballroom dancing program on the postural balance of institutionalized elderly residents. The sample consisted of 59 sedentary elderly residents of long-stay institutions who were randomly assigned to a ballroom dancing experimental group (EG, n=30) or a control group (CG, n=29). The ballroom dancing program consisted of three 50-min sessions each week on alternate days over a 12-week period. The dances included the foxtrot, waltz, rumba, swing, samba and bolero. The medical records of the subjects were reviewed to determine the number of falls they experienced in the three months prior to the intervention. Postural static balance was assessed using a Lizard (Med. EU., Italy, 2010) stabilometric and posturometric platform. Only patients in the EG lost a significant amount of weight (Δ=-2.85kg) when comparing the pre- and post-test postural balance assessments. The intergroup comparison revealed a reduced lower limb weight distribution difference in the EG post-test compared to the CG post-test (p=0.012). In the intragroup comparison, the EG patients experienced significantly fewer falls post-test relative to pre-test (p<0.0001). This improvement was not observed for patients in the CG. In the intergroup analysis, we observed fewer falls in the EG post-test compared to the CG post-test (p<0.0001). Therefore it was conclude that sedentary elderly people living in long-term institutions can improve their balance via a ballroom dancing program. This activity improved balance and reduced the number of falls in this elderly population.
    Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics 04/2014; 59(2). DOI:10.1016/j.archger.2014.03.013 · 1.53 Impact Factor
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    • "It has recently been shown that regular exercise and rhythmic movements (e.g., bike riding, dancing) can improve bradykinetic symptoms in Parkinson's disease (PD) (Goodwin et al., 2008; Earhart, 2009; Hackney and Earhart, 2009). Similarly, people with PD can make performance gains on one cognitive task (Stroop: name the print color rather than read a written word) after training on another (Sudoku: place numbers into a grid in a mathematically constrained pattern) (Nombela et al., 2011). "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: The traditional view of Parkinson’s disease (PD) as a motor disorder only treated by dopaminergic medications is now shifting to include non-pharmacologic interventions. We have noticed that patients with PD obtain an immediate, short-lasting benefit to mobility by the end of a dance class, suggesting some mechanism by which dancing reduces bradykinetic symptoms. We have also found that patients with PD are unimpaired at initiating highly automatic eye movements to visual stimuli (pro-saccades) but are impaired at generating willful eye movements away from visual stimuli (anti-saccades). We hypothesized that the mechanisms by which a dance class improves movement initiation may generalize to the brain networks impacted in PD (frontal lobe and basal ganglia, BG), and thus could be assessed objectively by measuring eye movements, which rely on the same neural circuitry. Methods: Participants with PD performed pro- and anti-saccades before, and after, a dance class. “Before” and “after” saccade performance measurements were compared. These measurements were then contrasted with a control condition (observing a dance class in a video), and with older and younger adult populations, who rested for an hour between measurements. Results: We found an improvement in anti-saccade performance following the observation of dance (but not following dancing), but we found a detriment in pro-saccade performance following dancing. Conclusion: We suggest that observation of dance induced plasticity changes in frontal-BG networks that are important for executive control. Dancing, in contrast, increased voluntary movement signals that benefited mobility, but interfered with the automaticity of efficient pro-saccade execution.
    Frontiers in Neurology 03/2013; 4:22. DOI:10.3389/fneur.2013.00022
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    • "Hackney et al. [8] demonstrated that gait variability was increased in backward compared to FW in healthy elderly and those with Parkinson disease [8]. Several studies have demonstrated that practicing multi-directional stepping either as an exercise program [9] [10] or in the form of tango dancing [11] improves mobility. Taken together these findings suggest that the inability to take effective backward steps may predispose the elderly to declines in functional ambulation and to increased risk of falls. "
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    ABSTRACT: Many falls occur from backward perturbations or during transitional movements that require a person to turn and step backwards, suggesting that deficits in backward stepping may negatively impact mobility. Previous studies found significant declines in backward walking (BW) spatiotemporal measures in healthy elderly compared to young adults. No studies to date have examined BW performance in middle-aged adults and in elderly with impaired mobility. This study compared spatiotemporal measures of BW and forward walking (FW) in young, middle-aged, and elderly and in elderly fallers and non-fallers; and compared the strength of the relationship between age and BW and FW spatiotemporal measures to determine the utility of BW performance as a clinical tool for examining safety and mobility. BW measures were significantly more impaired in the elderly (n=62) compared to young (n=37) and middle-aged (n=31) adults and age effects were greater in BW than FW. No significant differences were found between young and middle-aged except for base of support in BW. Stronger correlations were found between age and BW measures than between age and FW measures, particularly correlations between age and BW velocity and stride length. Elderly fallers had greater deficits in BW performance than non-fallers. All elderly fallers had BW velocities <.6m/s. Clinicians are encouraged to assess BW, particularly BW velocity, as part of mobility examinations.
    Gait & posture 11/2012; 37(4). DOI:10.1016/j.gaitpost.2012.09.022 · 2.30 Impact Factor
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