Monday, April 20, 2015

Blog #9: Dancing the Tango May Help Fight Effects of Parkinson's

Dancing the Tango May Help Fight Effects of Parkinson’s


Canadian Researchers at the Montreal Neurological Institute of McGill University and the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre investigated whether or not dancing the tango could prevent motor dysfunction and non-motor symptoms in individuals diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

The tango, a famous Argentine dance, could possibly improve balance and functional mobility. This dance is fairly slow place, and can be used to assist in improving balance. This can be done by a specific combination of recurring backward and forward steps.

In the study conducted, forty patients were recruited and randomly assigned to one of two groups. In the first group, the participants participated in partnered tango lessons for a total of twelve weeks. The remainder participants completed self-directed exercise. Upon completion of the intervention, changes in motor measures such as tremors, rigidity, and gait dysfunction. In addition, non-motor measures like depression, fatigue, and cognition was observed among the groups.

The findings from this study concluded that the tango lessons given definitely improved balance and functional mobility in patients diagnosed with Parkinson’s. Additionally, the tango lessons served as an agent in decreasing fatigue in these patients, and boosting cognitive function. The patients who participated in this study admitted that there were positive improvements in their mood and social life, and they stated that they found tango dancing to be enjoyable.


In high school, I completed clinical hours at a skilled nursing facility, in preparation for the Certified Nursing Assistant exam. There, I often worked with individuals who were diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Dances, such as the tango, is one that I would have least expected to improve the lives of people who have Parkinson’s primarily because it is not an everyday dance that I think of. This troublesome disease is most definitely one that can be hard to manage. Knowing that the patients who participated in this study had a positive experience, is humbling to me.

Shané Lennon

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