Dance and cognitive functioning in Parkinson's disease
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Background: Parkinson’s disease (PD) is commonly accompanied by reduced health related quality of life (HRQoL) and cognitive decline which decreases participation in activities of daily living. Moreover, worsened motor abilities exacerbate dual tasking performance such as walking while performing another task e.g. talking. Unfortunately, pharmacotherapies and other treatment methods employed in PD fail to address the cognitive impairment exhibited in this population. A growing body of evidence associates dance with increased HRQoL in PD and ameliorated motor function. Additionally the relation between HRQoL and cognition in PD has also been described. However, to date it has not been investigated whether dance can ameliorate cognition in PD. Method: Six PD patients took part over a 10 week period in 90 minute dance for PD classes once a week; three of them were described as single case studies. A battery of cognitive tests was applied at the baseline, after dance intervention and in a 1 month follow up. Results: Dance intervention ameliorated various aspects of functioning of MD, NB and AS. MD improved on scales of HRQoL, balance and balance confidence, subtracting accuracy and walking distance in dual task condition. NB improved in walking distance in single and dual task condition and on balance confidence. AS improved on measures of visual attention and executive function; moreover, his HRQoL increased by 19.5% and balance confidence increased by 37%. Overall, Dance for PD intervention ameliorated HRQoL, balance and aspects of cognition in 3 PD individuals.