The effect of tango dance on sleep in Parkinson's disease
Mateo, Alizah Mae
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Among all symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease (PD), depression and sleep dysfunction have the highest impact on quality of life, yet sleep disturbances and depression symptoms are often left unrecognized and untreated. With the rising annual cost of pharmacologic treatments for PD and the increasing prevalence of PD in the United States, there is a need to implement effective non-pharmacologic regimens, such as physical exercise. Adherence to exercise regimens can often be challenging, especially for elderly patients with progressive neurological impairment. However, enjoyable exercises, such as dancing, involve socialization and musical stimuli that are associated with increased motivation in patients. Dance exercise has been shown to have significant improvement in motor symptoms, functional mobility, mood, and quality of life in PD patients compared to no intervention or traditional exercises. Previous studies have shown that Tango style dancing has additional benefits for PD patients as it may selectively activate areas of the brain associated with motor and non-motor symptoms (the basal ganglia and anterior putamen, respectively) during backward walking and metered rhythmic movement. However, no studies have yet investigated the effect of dance intervention on sleep quality in patients with PD. The proposed study is a randomized control trial that will compare the sleep quality improvement of 90 elderly PD patients in two treatment arms, a Tango dance intervention with walking and walking alone (control group). The Tango group will participate in a 6-month Adapted Tango class designed for PD patients. Sleep quality will be measured as the primary outcome using the Parkinson’s Disease Sleep Scale (PDSS-2). Depression will be measured as a secondary outcome using the BDI-II. This will be the first study to investigate the effects of dance intervention on sleep quality in patients with PD, applying an adapted Tango program similar to those used in previous studies. If the results of this study reveal positive effects of Tango on sleep quality, clinicians may be able to recommend Tango-style dance exercise as a therapeutic intervention to target sleep disturbances and improve quality of life for patients with PD.