To determine the effects of participation in a 2-year community-based dance class on disease severity and functional mobility in people with Parkinson disease (PD).
Randomized controlled trial.
Dance classes took place in a community-based location. Outcome measures were collected in a university laboratory.
Ten individuals with PD were randomly assigned to the Argentine tango (AT) group (n=5 [4 men]; mean age±standard deviation, 69.6±6.6 years) or the control group (n=5 [4 men]; mean age±standard deviation, 66±11.0 years).
The AT group participated in a community-based AT class for 1 hour twice weekly for 2 years. Control group participants were given no prescribed exercise. Blinded assessments occurred at baseline and 12 and 24 months.
Movement Disorder Society-Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale (MDS-UPDRS) III, Mini-Balance Evaluation Systems Test (Mini-BESTest), gait velocity (forward and backward), Timed Up and Go and dual-task Timed Up and Go, Six-Minute Walk Test (6MWT), MDS-UPDRS II, MDS-UPDRS I, and Freezing of Gait Questionnaire.
There were no differences between groups at baseline. A significant group-by-time interaction (F [2,8]=17.59; p<0.0001) was noted for the MDS-UPDRS III, with the AT group having lower scores at 12 and 24 months than the controls. Significant interactions were also noted for the Mini-BESTest, MDS-UPDRS II and I, and 6MWT.
This is believed to be one of the longest-duration studies to examine the effects of exercise on PD. Participation in community-based dance classes over 2 years was associated with improvements in motor and nonmotor symptom severity, performance on activities of daily living, and balance in a small group of people with PD. This is noteworthy given the progressive nature of PD and the fact that the control group declined on some outcome measures over 2 years.