Understanding Parkinson’s Disease and How to Cope with It


Parkinson’s is a disease that affects the nerve cells in the brain that manufacture dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is responsible for how our brains feel pleasure. People with Parkinson’s disease (PD) have low levels of dopamine and consequently have all sorts of maladies, including rigidity in their muscles, slurred speech, a different walk and tremors of the hands, head or other parts of the body. Notable celebrities who have Parkinson’s include Michael J. Fox and Mohammad Ali.

There is no cure for the disease, but there are lifestyle changes that can be adopted to relieve the symptoms to make life more pleasurable and rewarding. PD typically affects the motor system (movement of the body) and it is the decreased production of dopamine cells which does this. The disease can advance to cognitive function, with dementia occurring in the advanced stages. Medication eventually stops working since dopaminergic neurons decrease in number. The main symptoms of the disease are neuropsychiatric, motor, sleep disturbances and impaired senses.

Dancing, Live Music and Parkinson ’s Disease

Many successful initiatives centered around dancing and Parkinson’s have been reported in recent years. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that people living with PD can benefit tremendously from the stimulation of physical movement of dancing and the wellness that it engenders in the mind and the body. Dance studios that cater to those with PD are safe, fun and enriching to sufferers of the disease. Many dance classes take place on a weekly basis and these dance studios are located at multiple venues around the world, from Canada to the U.S. to the United Kingdom.

A community-style environment featuring professional dance instructors and fellow dancers with Parkinson’s disease allows for warm and welcoming sessions and a new circle of friends. Dancing is widely regarded as one of the most positive and beneficial activities that can be used to treat the symptoms of PD. While there is no known cure for the disease, there is significant benefit in music and dance. Friends and family are always welcome to attend with their relatives.

A Warm and Caring Social Experience

The goal of networks that support dancing for Parkinson’s patients is to create an infrastructure conducive to health and well-being, while taking the specific needs and requirements of PD into account. Regularly scheduled classes are held and the therapeutic value of these sessions is without question. Dancing for Parkinson’s disease is an exploration of music and movement in a way that empowers participants to relieve the symptoms of their condition and enjoy a stimulating experience. Participants routinely attest to the incredible benefits they derive from these dance sessions, and close relationships between dance teachers and dancers ensure that the warmth and interpersonal nature of the experience is always present.