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Parkinson’s disease doesn’t slow down this dance group

BY VICTOR SWOBODA, GAZETTE DANCE CRITIC, www.montrealgazette.com

MONTREAL — Parkinson’s disease was not going to stop them from dancing the Grand Continental. Forty people — half of them with Parkinson’s disease — were gathered in the hall of Saint-Jean-Berchmans Church in Rosemont to do the Bird, the Swim Stroke and the Baseball Bat, willing their limbs into motion to the rhythm of a lively beat. Flapping arms like a bird, arching an arm as though to swim, or clutching hands around an invisible bat were not always easy gestures for those with a movement disorder.

Nonetheless, they focused and soldiered on, aware that they had a show to put on at the Palais des Congrès on Wednesday.

Their performance is scheduled during the third World Parkinson Congress, an international convention bringing together hundreds of neurologists, physiotherapists, researchers, caregivers and patients at the Palais des Congrès to discuss the latest medical developments in Parkinson’s disease. This neurological disease is often associated with tremors, but other symptoms include problems with speech, sleep, blood pressure, depression and anxiety. Drugs and surgical procedures exist to control symptoms, but there’s no cure. About 100,000 Canadians have the disease. Read more at http://www.montrealgazette.com/health/Parkinson+disease+doesn+slow+down+this+dance+group/8983033/story.html

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