A growing body of research shows the benefits of exercise for people living with Parkinson’s disease. According to researcher and associate professor of physical therapy at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Matthew P. Ford, PT, PhD, music may play an important role in helping people living with Parkinson’s to get moving and stay moving.
Dr. Ford has found music or auditory rhythms (like beats on a metronome) can improve motor efficiency, actually smoothing out gait and allowing people with Parkinson’s to better coordinate movement. By enabling faster and smoother movements, music is a crucial component in developing a regular (and realistic) exercise regimen.
Dr. Ford is one of the primary researchers conducting a study partially funded by the Davis Phinney Foundation about the long-term effects of exercise on cognitive and motor symptoms. He will discuss music, movement and Parkinson’s in depth at The Victory Summit symposium in Richmond, Virginia on Saturday, May 19, 2012. This event is free, and all members of the Parkinson’s community are welcome.