Archive for February 6th, 2011

2008, February 6 – “Tango Best Therapy For Parkinson’s Patients”

“Tango lessons were better than traditional movement therapies for Parkinson’s patients”…David Iverson in Frontline, reported on the conclusion of  a study conducted at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis by two researchers, Madeleine E. Hackney and Gammon E. Earhart…they took two groups of Parkinson’s patients; one was enrolled in 20, one hour sessions of tango argentino instruction and the other took the traditional strength and flexibility exercises designed for Parkinson’s patients…each patient was assessed prior to and after the regimen; all were similar in age and stage of Parkinson’s desease…while the participants in both groups showed significant improvement in movement, the tango argentino participants showed much better improvement on the Berg Balance Scale, which measures balance in a variety of addition, the participants in the tango group showed a trend toward improvement in the Timed Up and Go (TUG) test, which measures ability to rise from a chair, walk a short distance, turn and return to the chair…


Researchers concluded that while any dance is beneficial to Parkinson’s patients, there is something especially beneficial  in the specific movements in learning tango argentino …the results appeared in the December issue of 2007 in the “Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy”…Parkinson’s is a disease that affects nerve cells in the part of the brain that controls movement…the nerve cells that make dopamine die or don’t function properly resulting in trembling hands, arms, legs, jaws slowness of movement, poor balance and coordination…an Egyptian papyrus in 12 century BC mentions a disease which was probably Parkinson’s; the bible has several mentions of tremors which are also probably refering to Parkinsons…the most famous people with Parkinson’s disease are actor Michael J. Fox who developed symptoms at the age of 30 and who spoke about his ordeal with the disease in his best-selling book “Lucky Man”… the other famous case is that of legendary boxer Mohammed Ali


  • CLICK HERE – to see a video with Michael J Fox talking about his battle with Parkinson’s desease…the video includes an appearance by “the greatest of all time”  Mohammed Ali