Monday, February 18, 2008

Hilarious Journal Articles #91: Parkinson's Disease Patients Benefit From Tango

Via the Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy:
Effects of Tango on Functional Mobility in Parkinson's Disease: A Preliminary Study.

Recent research has shown that dance, specifically tango, may be an appropriate and effective strategy for ameliorating functional mobility deficits in people who are frail and elderly. Individuals with Parkinson's disease (PD) experience declines in functional mobility that may be even more pronounced than those experienced by frail elderly individuals without PD. The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of two movement programs: tango classes or exercise classes. Nineteen subjects with PD were randomly assigned to a tango group or a group exercise class representative of the current classes offered in our geographical area for individuals with PD. Subjects completed a total of 20 tango or exercise classes and were evaluated the week before and the week following the intervention. Both groups showed significant improvements in overall Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) score and nonsignificant improvements in self-reported Freezing of Gait. In addition, the tango group showed significant improvements on the Berg Balance Scale. The exercise group did not improve on this measure. Finally, the tango group showed a trend toward improvement on the Timed Up and Go test that was not observed in the exercise group. Future studies with a larger sample are needed to confirm and extend our observation that tango may be an effective intervention to target functional mobility deficits in individuals with PD.
The collection of hilarious journal articles is here.

1 comment:

Carol D. O'Dell said...

Hey, you can apparently smoke and drink to ward of Parkinson's, now add the tango and it'll become to #1 disease to aim for. I mean, if something's going to get you, you might want to pick one that comes with the most vices--for prevention and as "medication."

I'm saying that facetiously--my mom had Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, and I know just how ravaging both these disease can be.
But a little humor goes a long way in healing the heart.

I wonder why the tango and not the salsa? The jerky movements? The rose bitten lightly between the lips? The cocked elbows?
The "stances" when you stare into your partner's eyes?

Hey, I'm game.
I should have cleared out the livingroom furniture and put in a dance bar --for me and my mom.

~Carol D. O'Dell
Author of Mothering Mother: A Daughter's Humorous and Heartbreaking Memoir
available on Amazon