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Therapeutic Dancing For Parkinson’s Disease

Benefits Of Dance For Individuals With Pd

Parkinson’s Disease Exercises: Line Dance

There are limited numbers of studies to date that examine the benefits of dance for individuals with PD. One of the earliest such studies compared a 6-week period of dance/movement therapy to a traditional exercise program. 29 The authors observed improvements in movement initiation in the dance group but not in the exercise group. Another early study examining the benefits of dance therapy for individuals with neurological deficits described improvements in balance, gait, and cognitive performance with a twice weekly, 5-month intervention.30 Within a few years of this study, the Mark Morris Dance Group and the Brooklyn Parkinson Group collaborated to develop âDance for PDâ, a dance/movement class. This class continues to be offered on a weekly basis and a recent study of this class suggests that it positively impacts quality of life.31 While these studies have all focused on dance/movement therapy using free-form movement and often dancing without a partner, another line of research has examined the benefits of partnered dance, with a specific emphasis on Argentine tango.

Christine Black Msc Speech

Christine has an Honourâs degree in Arts and Sciences from McMaster University and a Master of Sciences in Speech-Language Pathology from McMaster University. She is a graduate of the first North American problem-based learning Speech-Language Pathology program. Christine collaborates with clients, families, teachers, and oth-er health professionals to help further client outcomes. She works pri-marily in the pediatric population with preschool and school-aged chil-dren. Christine has experience working with various populations includ-ing those with Down Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Childhood Apraxia of Speech, as well as cleft lip and palate.

Christine is currently enrolled in a program to achieve her Individual Authorizer status so she can provide select Augmentative and Alterna-tive Communication supports and devices for clients. She also provides accent modification therapy to improve intelligibity for corporate clients. Christine believes in providing holistic and family-centred care to give clients the best possible support and outcomes.

Christine provides teletherapy speech and language services throughout Ontario.

Ulyana Bila Ba Msc Speech

Ulyana Bila is a registered Speech-Language Pathologist with a Masterâs of Science Degree in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of British Columbia. She also graduated with an Honours Bachelor of Science Degree with Distinction from the University of Toronto, specializing in Linguistics and Psychology. Ulyana has provided speech and language services in a variety of clinical settings, including hospital setting, rehabilitation setting and public schools. She has experience treating toddlers , pre-schoolers, school aged students, and adults encompassing a broad range of communication disorders, including but not limited to: early intervention for receptive and expressive language delays, articulation/phonological disorders, motor speech disorders, pragmatic/social skills for autism spectrum and reading/listening comprehension..

Ulyana is a fluent, native speaker of Ukrainian and an intermediate speaker of Russian. Her multicultural background enhances her sensitivity for others and supports her in meeting the diverse communication needs of people she services.

Ulyana provides speech therapy services in Toronto, Etobicoke and Mississauga.

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Why Dance Potential Mechanisms Of Action

As there are no studies to date investigating the neural mechanisms by which dance may have beneficial effects in individuals with PD, one can only speculate about the ways that dance may be exerting its influence. One possibility is that the practice of dance may facilitate activation of areas that normally show reduced activation in PD. For example, Brown et al. 45 showed that performance of tango movements to a metered and predicated beat was associated with increased activation of the putamen. Sacco et al. 46 showed that healthy controls who learned to dance tango showed a shift in cortical activation, with increased activity in the premotor and supplementary motor areas during imagined walking following a series of tango lessons. They propose that tango, which has walking as its basic step, may serve as a means of focusing conscious attention on walking. This is interesting in light of the fact that people with PD can clearly improve their walking performance when they use attentional mechanisms and focus on walking quickly with large steps.47,48 Perhaps tango serves as a means of focusing conscious attention on walking and, with practice, the walking movements may become more automatic resulting in enhanced performance that no longer requires conscious attention.

New Gene Therapy Trial To Explore Parkinsons Disease Treatment Option

Therapeutic Dancing for Parkinson

MORGANTOWN, W.Va – The WVU Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute has announced the start of a clinical trial that evaluates the safety and efficacy of a new gene therapy in the treatment of Parkinsons disease.

While surgical implants used in deep brain stimulation can treat Parkinsons disease, gene therapy can be of particular benefit without the need for implants in the brain.

This new study is the next step from a previous sham-controlled study that showed promise in Parkinsons disease, Dr. Ali Rezai, executive chair of the WVU Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute, said. In this study, AAV-GAD gene therapy is delivered to the subthalamic nucleus, a key area with dysfunction in a brain with Parkinsons disease. Over time, the gene therapy is intended to help Parkinsons disease by making new brain connections and improving symptoms.

The first participant is a grandparent of 14 from West Virginia who was forced to retire because of the progression and severity of Parkinsons disease.

Medications had become less effective with worsening side effects.

They hope their participation in this study not only helps them find relief, but also leads to advances in treatment for others with Parkinsons.

I hope this gene therapy will help my Parkinsons and also help other people, the participant said.

For more information on the study, .

Copyright 2022 WDTV. All rights reserved.

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Dancing Helps People With Parkinson’s Disease

Could daily tango classes help people with Parkinsons Disease? A recent article, posted on BioRxiv, shows that in a small group of people, these daily lessons improved their motor symptoms. This paper is not yet peer-reviewed, but the positive effects of dancing for people with Parkinsons Disease have been well-studied by many other researchers as well.

Heather MacTavish, left, with Parkinson’s patient Margaret Moylan, 61, right, and volunteers Jocelyn… Thomas, second right, and Charlie Kisch, leads a dance exercise at the World Parkinson’s Conference, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2006, in Washington. Thomas’ mother had Parkinson’s disease.


Parkinsons Disease affects between seven and ten million people worldwide. In this condition, a gradual breakdown of certain cells in the brain causes a lowering of the normal levels of dopamine. The characteristic tremors and slow movement seen in people with Parkinsons Disease are a direct effect of these lower levels of dopamine, and one of the established and successful forms of treatment is the drug L-DOPA, which helps address the dopamine imbalance. But there are other forms of therapy available as well, and one of them is dance.

As a form of movement therapy, dance addresses several of the problems that come with Parkinsons Disease. It provides regular social interaction for people who have this condition, has a positive effect on their mental well-being, and it improves their movement and balance.

Hanie Tsoi Ba Cda Member Of Cdaac

Stephanie has an Honours Bachelors of Arts in Psychology from University of Waterloo. She also completed a Post-Graduate Certificate in Infant and Early Child Mental Health at Seneca College and Communicative Disorders Assistant at Durham College. She has 2 years of experience working with verbal and non-verbal children, youth and adults with various speech and language concerns in centers as well as 1:1 sessions.

Stephanie holds certificates in Psychological First Aid, Triple P Group Stepping Stones, Triple P Group Teen, CPR and First Aid. She is very passionate about providing evidence-based practice to aid her client reach their speech and language goals, and educating caregivers to facilitate and participating in their speech and language development and rehabilitation. She is currently working towards becoming an Speech and Language Pathologist.

Stephanie is fluent in English, Cantonese and Mandarin.

Stephanie provides Speech therapy services in the Scarborough, Markham and Richmond Hill region.

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Benefits Of Exercise For People With Pd

Exercise is good for all of us, whether we’re perfectly healthy, at risk for certain health issues or already suffering from a chronic illness. But for people with PD, exercise can be especially beneficial. In fact, the Parkinson’s Foundation states that exercise is “a vital component to maintaining balance, mobility and daily living activities, along with a potential neuroprotective effect.”

Here are a few specific benefits of exercise for people who have Parkinson’s disease:

  • Reduced motor symptoms
  • Less gait disturbances

Exercise can also help PD patients be more active participants in their care. That can help alleviate some of the non-motor symptoms and improve quality of life overall.1

Benefits Of Dance In General

Parkinson’s Dance Therapy: Dancing gives relief to patients in Cape Town

There are many different types of dancing. Some is more social, such as line dancing, folk dancing or ballroom dancing. Dance fitness, such as Zumba, is another type of dance that is aimed specifically at building functional fitness. There are also dance therapy programs, often aimed at specific types of health issues.

According to a literature review done by researchers out of the University of Hawaii in 2017, dance has some specific health benefits, including:2

  • improves muscular strength and endurance
  • promotes better balance
  • improves other aspects of functional fitness

This review also showed significant positive changes in cognitive ability. There was a 21-year study of senior citizens, 75 and older, funded by the National Institute on Aging. It was conducted by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City and published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2003.6 The study looked at a number of leisure activities, but found that dancing was the only one to offer significant protection from the risk of dementia.

Plus, let’s not forget that dancing to music that resonates with you can just be plain fun, no matter your age or gender.

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What Type Of Dance Is Best For Pd

As a fitness instructor, my answer is always going to be that the best type of dance for PD is the type that you will actually practice consistently. It won’t benefit you if you don’t do it. Most of the studies mentioned above found that the benefits of dance for PD patients came from doing it regularly over a period of weeks.

Every person with Parkinson’s is different. Not all PD sufferers have the same exact set of symptoms, nor will they respond identically to a certain form of dance. Here are a few types of dance that have been shown to have specific value for people with PD.

  • Tango. One small research study suggested that tango might be a strategy for improving functional mobility deficits. Tango can involve learning specific ways of moving that might improve gait and balance.5
  • Dance for PD. These are specific classes taught by professional dancers. These classes include modern dance, ballet, tap, folk and social dancing. Emphasis is on experiencing “the joys and benefits of dance while creatively addressing symptom-specific concerns related to balance, cognition, motor skill, depression and physical confidence.”
  • Zumba Gold.Zumba is a dance fitness program that combines these elements of fitness: cardio, muscle conditioning, balance and flexibility, choreographed to Latin and world music. The Gold version of Zumba is a lower-intensity, low impact version that emphasizes balance and coordination, along with social interacton.

How Do I Find A Therapist Or Program

Dance/movement therapists and programs are all over the country. To find one nearest you, go to The American Dance Therapy Associations website at You can find a list of resources and a directory of therapists in your area. The toll-free Parkinsons Foundation Helpline can also help connect you to information and resources: 1-800-4PD-INFO .

Dance/movement therapy is often a wonderful complementary or adjunct therapy for individuals affected by movement disorders. Some dance/movement therapy sessions may be covered by private health insurance, which can make it an affordable and accessible option for treatment of symptoms and maintenance of quality of life.

Erica Hornthal, LCPC, BC-DMT, is CEO of Chicago Dance Therapy. She is a clinical counselor and board-certified dance therapist who specializes in working with individuals living with movement and cognitive disorders. Additionally, Erica works with people of all ages and abilities to connect the mind and body to promote self-awareness, self-expression, healthy attachments, compassion and improved quality of life.

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Improvements In Parkinsons Disease

Dance typically involves learning sequences of steps and movements in space, in coordination with music. In other words, it requires substantial physical and cognitive engagement and, as such, it should improve not only muscle tone, strength, balance and coordination, but also memory, attention and visuospatial processing.

When comparing relatively long-term dance interventions to conventional fitness training, several studies have found improvements in attention and verbal memory and neuroplasticity in healthy older adults. Researchers also found improvements in memory and cognitive function for older adults with mild cognitive impairment after a 40-week dance program.

In addition, a recent meta-analysis of seven randomized controlled trials comparing the effects of dance therapy to non-dance interventions in Parkinsons disease found that dance was especially beneficial for executive function, the processes that help us plan, organize and regulate our actions.

Yes You Can Dance With Parkinsons

Dance for PD

Dont let fear of freezing keep you from the dance floor. Learn how dance therapy can help those with Parkinsons.

Putting a little more swing in your step may seem like a daunting task if you have Parkinsons disease. But cue some loud dance music, and you might find it easier to kick up your heels.

Dance classes designed just for those with Parkinsons are becoming a popular option across the country. Science says dancing is a fun and effective way to boost balance, movement and flexibility in those with mild to moderately severe Parkinsons disease.

Tap into your potential for healthier living and learn how a tempting tango, wistful waltz or other dance may help you express yourself and thrive.

Move to the Beat

Parkinsons can make it difficult to multitask while walking. For example, taking a step while remembering your to-do list might be a challenge. Add in tremors and rigid movements, commonly seen in PD, and you might think your dance hall days are a thing of the past.

Not true! So turn up the music and get ready to get your groove back. Research shows that people with PD who take a dance class for at least 12 weeks have easier, smoother movements. They feel better overall and have short-term improvements in balance, mobility and freezing episodes.

Try the Tango

Bonus: Youll get a good workout. A swift tango revs your heartbeat quite a bit .

Waltz this Way

Ballet Just for You

Check out, which offers classes worldwide.

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Therapeutic Exosomes For Pd

Exosomes as delivery vehicles not only improve drug stability in long circulation, but also overcome difficulties such as immune response, blood-brain barrier obstruction and random distribution in non-focal areas, showing good biocompatibility, drug therapeutic activity and target enrichment. As one of the promising therapeutic strategies for PD, preclinical experiments have shown the therapeutic potential of exosomes after successful loading of mRNAs, siRNAs, enzymes and multiple chemotherapeutic agents. For example, antioxidants such as peroxidase and its mRNA, glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor loaded exosomes can reduce the levels of pro-inflammatory factors in nigrostriatal neurons and microglia, alleviating neurotoxicity and neuroinflammatory responses in PD mice. In addition, siRNAs that interfere with -syn expression and autophagy modulators that reduce toxic -syn fibers have also shown efficient neuroprotective effects in preclinical studies when used in combination with exosome delivery platforms, and these exosome-based drug systems are less toxic than their free forms.

Fig.3 Potential roles of exosomes in neuropathology and clinical applications.


  • Jiang, T. et al. The challenge of the pathogenesis of PD: is autoimmunity the culprit? Front Immunol. 2018, 9: 2047.
  • Church, F.C. et al. Treatment options for motor and non-motor symptoms of PD. Biomolecules. 2021, 11: 612.
  • Dance Can Help Slow Progression Of Parkinsons Research Finds

    New research is offering hope to at least 6 million people across the globe living with Parkinsons disease, a progressive neurological disorder caused by a lack of dopamine, which is needed to help nerves communicate. There is no cure, but a specific course of music and movement can help slow progression of the disease.

    Up until his late 50s, Manny Torrijos wasnt much of a dancer. But in the 13 years since he was diagnosed with Parkinsons disease, dance has become part of his identity. He can be found three times a week at a program called Dance for Parkinsons Disease.

    Its not just a dance, Torrijos told CBS News chief medical correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook. Its spiritual.

    The neurological disease can cause tremors, trouble walking and talking and, sometimes, cognitive loss. The dance classes have been just the boost that Torrijos has needed.

    More than 10,000 people participate in the classes across 26 countries. The movements are designed to stimulate physical and cognitive ability.

    We do try to bring in really tangible, real life activities and gestures, so that when people leave the studio, they have a deeper understanding of how they can function in the world, said David Leventhal, who has been teaching the class at the Mark Morris Dance Group in Brooklyn for 20 years. One of our participants said, Music is like a red carpet that rolls out in front of me and allows me to move in ways I cant otherwise move.’

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    Jillian Lavadan Ba Hons Cda Member Of Cdaac

    Jillian is a Communicative Disorders Assistant who completed her post graduate certificate at Georgian College. She completed her un-dergraduate degree in sociology at Nipissing University, where she specialized in qualitative research. She has been working in the speech and language field for 8 years. Jillian has a wide range of experience working with children with articulation and language delays, fluency and stuttering, literacy, ASD and global delays. She has worked with chil-dren who are non verbal and require low-tech or high-tech devices to aide in communication.

    Jillian also works extensively with adults in the areas of accent re-duction, voice therapy, cognitive communication, acquired brain injury, augmentative and alternative communication, and ASD. Jillian continu-ously participates in professional development to stay up to date in best practices and new research. She takes the time to individualize treat-ment for her clients to make it both engaging and functional. She works alongside family members, community members and other support networks to support clients as best as possible.

    Jillian provides speech therapy in Mississauga and Brampton are-as.

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