Dr Peter Lovatt is running a research study into the effects of different types of dance on the symptoms of Parkinson and seeks volunteers to take part. The project examines the relationship between dance and the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. A handful of recent studies has shown that dancing can be good for relieving some of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. These studies have found that when people with Parkinson’s engage in several weeks of Tango dancing they show measurable improvements in their balance and walking, improvements that are not shown following several weeks of gym based exercises. Dr Lovatt’s study aims to replicate and extend these findings.
I have just been awarded a research grant to examine the link between dance and Parkinson’s disease. This is very exciting. A flurry of academic papers have been published in the last couple of years which report that when people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) engage in certain types of dance they show an improvement in their balance and walking. These papers are really interesting but they leave a whole set of questions unanswered as it relates to dance and PD.
So, I’ve put together a team which includes a neurobiologist, a physiotherapist, a cognitive psychologist and two dance specialists so that we can further examine the relationship between dance and PD.
We want to know what kind of dance is best for people with PD, how much dance treatment they need, how long do the effects last for, what are the long term benefits of dancing for people with PD and so many more. Our first project team meeting is this week, so I’ll keep you posted on what we find.