Study to glean impact of exposure to music and dance on quality of life of patients with Parkinson’s disease

Jaslok Hospital & Research Centre, Mumbai, to conduct thorough study on the positive effects of dance, music and meditation on patients

February 23, 2023 01:24 am | Updated 10:35 am IST - MUMBAI 

The hands of a patient with Parkinson’s disease tremble.

The hands of a patient with Parkinson’s disease tremble. | Photo Credit: Astrid860

Jaslok Hospital & Research Centre, Mumbai, has announced a unique pilot study on the impact of music, dance and meditation in reducing the progression of Parkinson’s disease and improving the quality of life of patients.

According to neurologists, music has a direct impact on improving motor rhythmicity. Prior studies show that dance employs sensory-motor methods to improve movement and balance of patients.

“There is evidence that both music and dance are seen to uplift moods and improve quality of life of patients with Parkinson’s. Studies also show that meditation restores one’s sense of self-awareness and helps regulate thoughts and emotions,” said Professor Dr. Paresh Doshi, Director of Neurosurgery Department, Jaslok Hospital, who is leading the project with a team of experts. 

“There is evidence that meditation can reduce psychological distress such as stress and depression and elevate overall mood,” he added. 

Dr. Doshi said the deployment of such therapies is expected to improve the quality of life, mood and cognition of patients. Behavioural change is expected on exposure to music and dance. 

“A thorough study examining the positive effects of dance/music and meditation on the quality of life of patients, or their caregivers has not yet been conducted. Since there is a lack of research on the impact of dance, music, and meditation in an Indian context, Jalsok Hospital has proposed to conduct this study,” he said. 

This study is a controlled pilot study with 32 patients with Parkinson’s disease of mild and moderate severity, of which 16 random patients will be taken into intervention and reference groups. 

The patients will be enrolled to take part in three weekly sessions of dance/music and meditation for six months, of which one session will take place in person on a weekly basis. 

A caregiver holds the hand of an elderly patient.

A caregiver holds the hand of an elderly patient. | Photo Credit: Piyapong Thongcharoen

The patients, all from Mumbai, will choose a modality from dance and music, while all patients will take part in 15 minutes sessions of mindfulness meditation for six days a week.

“The results of this study will have a significant impact on how doctors treat the disease and how caregivers manage patients,” Dr. Doshi said. 

If the results of this pilot study are positive, a larger study will be conducted to investigate the effectiveness of dance, music, and mediation therapy on patients, he added. 

To register for this study, contact Jaslok Hospital: +91 90829 30358.

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