14th International Congress
14th international congress

News Release

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Media Contact:
Elizabeth Laur, +1 414-276-2145, elaur@movementdisorders.org
MDS Press Room: Rio de la Plata Room, 2nd Floor, Sheraton Buenos Aires
(Late-Breaking Abstract: LB-20)

Argentine Tango Shows Improvement in Motor Symptoms in Parkinson’s Disease

BUENOS AIRES – A study investigating the use of Argentine Tango as a potential rehabilitative tool in Parkinson’s disease was presented today at The Movement Disorder Society’s 14th International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders.

This study, led by Giovanni Albani and colleagues at the University of Turin, Italy, chose to investigate tango, due to its positive impact on motor recovery, as well as social life and self-esteem in PD patients. The overall results of the study show improvements in speech, posture and gait in all patients after 5 weeks of tango instruction. Largely, tango could prove to be a very positive and effective tool in the treatment motor symptoms in PD patients.

Oscar Gershanik, MD, of the Hospital Universitario Favaloro Foundation in Buenos Aires, adds to these findings by stating, “There is a lot of attitude, feeling and posturing in tango which probably benefits the motor performance of the patients who are constantly cued into performing the steps and movements in a consciously coordinated way. But there is also the sensuousness and passion involved in dancing the tango that also contributes to the sense of well-being that the patient's experience. We welcome the observations made by our colleagues from Turin, Italy, which will help in promoting the use of tango as a novel rehabilitation strategy in Parkinson's disease.”

An instructive DVD was created in collaboration with tango instructors, patients, physiotherapists, psychologists and the leaders of the study. This DVD was used by ten patients with partners for one hour per day, 5 days per week over the course of 5 weeks. In addition, patients met with tango instructors for 2 hour sessions each week. Motor symptoms were measured using the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS), a tool used to rate severity of Parkinson's disease, showing improvement in all patients.

Meeting attendees are gathered to learn the latest research findings and state-of-the-art treatment options for Movement Disorders, including Parkinson’s disease, Huntington's disease, tremor, gait and dystonia. More than 3,500 physicians and medical professionals from 70 countries will be able to view over 1,000 scientific abstracts submitted by clinicians from around the world.

The Movement Disorder Society, an international society of over 3,500 clinicians, scientists, and other healthcare professionals from more than 90 countries, is dedicated to improving patient care through education and research. For more information about The Movement Disorder Society, visit www.movementdisorders.org.