Houston explains, ‘we found that when they were dancing to the music, strides were lengthening in time to the music. Some were starting to coordinate their arms and their legs when they were walking. So fluency of movement was seen while they were in the dance phase. For some, this continued afterwards as well. Some people said they actually hummed the tunes from the dance, to get them out of a particular hairy moment during the week, as well as trying to pace themselves. It seems that movement to music has a very strong affect on people’s Parkinson’s. Dancing to music temporarily relieves them of some of the motor complications.’
One of the challenges the team found is proving their findings scientifically. Parkinson’s sufferers take a number of drugs and can be affected by other factors, such as sleep and weather. The team have introduced a control group, to compare the results with sufferers who don’t dance.