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: 1.68). 06/2009; 41(6):475-81. DOI: 10.2340/16501977-0362
Source: PubMed


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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    • "6-minute walking test, stride/step length, gait velocity, cadence, and time up and go were analyzed in eligible studies. The aggregated results suggested that aerobic exercise should show significant effects compared with control therapies in 6-minute walking test (SMD, 0.72; 95% CI 0.08 to 1.36; p = 0.03; Figure 4) [7], [8], [21], [22], [27], stride/step length (SMD, 0.31; 95% CI 0.08 to 0.53; p = 0.008; Figure 4) [7]–[9], [17], [21]–[23], [28], gait velocity (SMD, 0.35; 95% CI 0.10 to 0.60; p = 0.005; Figure 4) [7]–[9], [14], [15], [17], [20]–[24], [28], and time up and go (SMD, 0.42; 95% CI 0.08 to 0.76; p = 0.02; Figure 4) [7], [9], [21], [23], [25]. However, none of the trials indicated the evidence in favor of aerobic exercise for PD in the assessment of the cadence (SMD, −0.18; 95% CI −0.52 to 0.15; p = 0.28; Figure 4) [14], [17], [20], [23], [28]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Although some trials assessed the effectiveness of aerobic exercise for Parkinson's disease (PD), the role of aerobic exercise in the management of PD remained controversial. Objective: The purpose of this systematic review is to evaluate the evidence about whether aerobic exercise is effective for PD. Methods: Seven electronic databases, up to December 2013, were searched to identify relevant studies. Two reviewers independently extracted data and assessed methodological quality based on PEDro scale. Standardised mean difference (SMD) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) of random-effects model were calculated. And heterogeneity was assessed based on the I 2 statistic. Results: 18 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) with 901 patients were eligible. The aggregated results suggested that aerobic exercise should show superior effects in improving motor actions (SMD, -0.57; 95% CI -0.94 to -0.19; p = 0.003), balance (SMD, 2.02; 95% CI 0.45 to 3.59; p = 0.01), and gait (SMD, 0.33; 95% CI 0.17 to 0.49; p<0.0001) in patients with PD, but not in quality of life (SMD, 0.11; 95% CI -0.23 to 0.46; p = 0.52). And there was no valid evidence on follow-up effects of aerobic exercise for PD. Conclusion: Aerobic exercise showed immediate beneficial effects in improving motor action, balance, and gait in patients with PD. However, given no evidence on follow-up effects, large-scale RCTs with long follow-up are warrant to confirm the current findings.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · PLoS ONE
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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.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2014 · Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics
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    • "Research examining dance for people with Parkinson's has indicated that it may improve quality of life (Batson, 2010; Hackney & Earhart, 2009a, 2009b, 2010a, 2010b; Hackney, Kantorovich, & Earhart 2007; Hackney, Kantorovich, Levin, & Earhart, 2007; Heiberger et al., 2011; Marchant, Sylvester, & Earhart, 2010; Westbrook & McKibben, 1989; Westheimer, 2008; Westheimer et al., 2011). Mostly, studies concentrate on physiological changes: people with Parkinson's who took part in Tango sessions demonstrated improvements in balance and their Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) Scores (Hackney & Earhart, 2009a, 2010a, 2010b). "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Parkinson's is a neurological disease that is physically debilitating and can be socially isolating. Dance is growing in popularity for people with Parkinson's and claims have been made for its benefits. The paper details a mixed-methods study that examined a 12-week dance project for people with Parkinson's, led by English National Ballet. Methods: The effects on balance, stability and posture were measured through the Fullerton Advanced Balance Scale and a plumb-line analysis. The value of participation and movement quality were interpreted through ethnographic methods, grounded theory and Effort analysis. Results: Triangulation of results indicates that people were highly motivated, with 100% adherence, and valued the classes as an important part of their lives. Additionally, results indicated an improvement in balance and stability, although not in posture. Conclusions: Dancing may offer benefit to people with Parkinson's through its intellectual, artistic, social and physical aspects. The paper suggests that a range of research methods is fundamental to capture the importance of multifaceted activity, such as dance, to those with Parkinson's.
    Preview · Article · Jun 2013 · Arts & Health
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