Friday, June 14, 2024

Music Therapy For Parkinson’s

About Music Therapy & Wmts

How Music Therapy Can Help You Live Well with Parkinson’s

Music Therapists are credentialed healthcare professions who use music and musical elements to help clients live healthy and fulfilled lives.

Music Therapy sessions involve the application of music therapy interventions within the context of a therapeutic relationship, a relationship that is developed through music-based, verbal, and/or non-verbal communication. Certified MTAs use music to address human needs within cognitive, communicative, emotional, musical, physical, social, and spiritual domains. They conduct client assessments, develop treatment plans, implement therapy processes, and evaluate progress.

For more information about Music Therapy in Canada, check out the Canadian Association for Music Therapists and The Music Therapy Association of Ontario. You can also find more information through the American Music Therapy Association and the World Federation of Music Therapy.

Narrative Synthesis Of Outcomes For People With Parkinsons Disease

Quality of life


Functional communication

Two studies discussed the impact of singing interventions on functional communication. Shih et al. found no significant change in functional communication after a group singing intervention of one 90-min session per week for 12weeks. However, a study by Elefant et al. found that a group singing intervention of one 60-min session per week for 20weeks significantly improved communicative facial expression and physical communication, although improvements in overall communication, plus functional and emotional subscales did not reach statistical significance. Neither study included a control group, which is a substantial limitation in terms of interpreting any observed benefit. No studies considered the impact of any other performing arts modalities besides singing on functional communication.

Cognitive status

Motor function

Main methodological concerns

Healing Is Music To Our Ears

Elizabeth Stegemöller is an assistant professor in kinesiology researching how music facilitates movement in people with neurological disorders. Stegemöller is a board certified music therapist with a Ph.D. in neuroscience. Her research has demonstrated that singing training can significantly improve swallowing and respiratory functions, often major impairments in people with Parkinsons disease. This research has resulted in two outreach programs in Ames, IA: a singing group and a music and movement group.

Each program meets for one hour once a week.

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Music Therapy Interventions In Parkinsons Disease: The State


Parkinsons disease is a neurological disorder involving the progressive degeneration of the dopaminergic system, which gives rise to movement-related dysfunctions as well as other symptoms, mainly of cognitive and psychological nature. In the latter case, mood disorders prevails frequently causing anxiety and depression in all phases of the disease, sometimes even before the motor symptoms occur.

Aarsland and colleagues report that 35% of the patients affected by PD present depression, whereas Richard states that anxiety is to be found in 40% of the cases.

The literature shows that playing and listening to music may modulate emotions, behaviors, movements, communication, and cognitive factors, modifying the activity of the brain areas involved in the perception and regulation of these aspects .

Music can produce substantial effects on movement-related symptoms as well as psychological ones in PD treatment. Concerning the first aspect, rhythm has a crucial role in rehabilitation, enhancing connections between the motor and auditory systems .

Literature showed how a rhythmic auditory cues-based training can produce a compensation of the cerebello-thalamo-cortical network leading to beneficial effects, for example, improving not only speed and step length but also perceptual and motor timing abilities .

Music Therapy Helps Tackle Parkinsons

Music as Voice Therapy

Each Wednesday in St. Matthews Episcopal Church, the buzzing timbre of 30 to 40 kazoos fills the room. Hands clap, feet stomp and voices join together for musical exercises and warm-ups.

But this is more than a music lesson.

This is music therapy led by University of Miami graduate and adjunct faculty member Linda Lathroum, and the common thread among the participants is the progressive neurological disorder Parkinsons disease.

Its a hardship, no two ways about it, said 74-year-old Eugene Dolfi, whose wife, Eleanore Dolfi, was diagnosed with Parkinsons about 15 years ago.

The two have been attending these music therapy sessions once a week as part of the caregiver meetings and social events with the ParkOptimists, a National Parkinson Foundation support group in Coral Gables that also offers dance, yoga and tai chi.

According to Erin Keenan, who conducted research on Parkinsons while pursuing her masters in music therapy at UM, music can help with some of the side effects typical of the disease shuffling gait, tremors, muscle rigidity and speech change.

Music gives the central nervous system so much information, she said. There is so much going on in the brain, and rhythm helps organize everything.

The idea is that rhythm, like the beat of a drum or the tick of a metronome, can foster slow, coordinated movement when patients attempt to synchronize their bodies to the sound.

Its like a big family, Dolfi said.

Instead, she gave them a session.

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How Music Therapy Can Help You Live Well With Parkinsons

Music therapy can help people living with Parkinsons improve motor function, express creativity and connect with others in their community. It can help increase stride length, minimize freezing of gait and improve posture, swallowing and breathing.

We recently sat down with Stephanie Kleba and Jessica Pouranfar, Board Certified Music Therapists, to talk about the value of music therapy for people with Parkinsons and how easy it is to get started. They also share exercises you can start doing right now from the comfort of your car, home or wherever you are.

Here are some of the questions they answered:

  • What is a music therapist?
  • Generally, how can music therapists and group classes help people with Parkinsons?
  • What are the specific symptoms music therapy can help?
  • Do music therapists work with people with Parkinsons one-on-one or in a group?
  • What does a Parkinsons music therapy class involve?
  • What makes music therapy/rhythm so effective?
  • What does the research say about music therapy?
  • What are some of the biggest objections you get from people when they first begin?
  • How long do people need to come to music therapy classes in order to see the benefits? Do the benefits fade once they stop coming?
  • What are some of the best success stories you have?
  • Can you share a few exercises that people can do at home to get a little taste of what a music therapy class might involve?

Popular Song Selections Used For Gait Rehabilitation

  • Scott Joplin: The Entertainer
  • Gene Autry: Back in the Saddle Again
  • Lieutenant F.J. Ricketts: Colonel Bogey March
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Turkish March from Piano Sonata No. 11
  • Marines Hymn
  • Victor Herbert: March of the Toys from Babes in Toyland
  • Henry Mancini: Baby Elephant Walk from Hatari!
  • Ive Been Working on the Railroad
  • Sir Edward Elgar: Pomp & Circumstance
  • Ludwig van Beethoven: Für Elise
  • ABBA: Money Money Money and Dancing Queen

Randomization And Assignment Of Interventions

Group randomization is determined using a Microsoft Excel-based random number generated sequence which relates to one of four possible groups the subject can be randomized into. Subjects will be informed of the 4 possible group assignments. After initial screening, potential participants will be entered sequentially into the randomization list and therefore assigned to the intervention associated with their row. For scheduling and logistic purposes, subjects will learn of their group assignment once they are assigned a study ID and have been scheduled for their first research visit, which needs to occur within a week of the first intervention sessions. Subjects will typically be informed at least 2weeks prior to starting on the study via email or telephone from our study coordinator. There is a second random number generated sequence for re-randomizing those who were initially randomized into the waitlist control group. This list re-randomizes those participants into either TIMP-RHY or TIMP-NR group or OT group after completing their post-waitlist visit. No data collection will occur for this second assignment.

Dancing Helps Manage Depression

Parkinson’s and Music Therapy

Dancing is one of the most potent ways to connect your mind and body. In recent years, dance-based therapy programs have been used to help improve symptoms of neurological disorders such as Parkinsons, dementia, and depression.

Fortunately for most of us, it doesnt matter how well you move, so long as youre trying to move with the beat. Dancing can take many forms seated, standing, arms-only, etc. However you choose to move, you will feel the benefits!

If you need some guidance, try this seated dancing warm-up from our Victory Summit® Omaha online event.

Music Therapy Can Be Just What The Doctor Ordered

I never realized the benefits of music until I was diagnosed with Parkinsons disease.

Early in my diagnosis, I met Alexander Pantelyat, MD, co-director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Music and Medicine, who introduced me to both music and dance. Together with boxing and other exercises, music and dance are important tools in my Parkinsons toolbox.

Recently, Pantelyat offered a webinar titled Music as Medicine.

According to Pantelyat, Music has been an integral part of the human experience as long as humanity has been around. Its been intuitively felt to have healing properties, but now we are in a position to study the mechanisms and optimize music-based interventions.

Sarah Hoover, DMA, who also co-directs the center, added: Its fascinating and powerful to think that music, something that has been floating around in our environment forever, that this natural, omnipresent human activity has demonstrable benefit as treatment.

Music And Movement In Parkinsons Disease

An exercise group for people with Parkinsons Disease meets on Tuesdays from 4-5pm at the First Baptist Church of Ames, 200 Lynn Ave.

The singing program started during Stegemöllers original research, and continued after participants started to statistically see improvements. The program brings together the original study participants and several other people with Parkinsons to sing, You Are My Sunshine which helps them talk louder and hold out their breath.

The dance program uses musical cues to help people with Parkinsons who have difficulty with things such as rigidity, range of motion, big forceful movements, balance, and posture. Stegemöller, Ann Smiley-Oyen, an assistant professor in kinesiology, and 14 student volunteers lead the class. The first part focuses on strength exercises while the second is a ballroom dance lesson .

For more information about these programs, check out the lab website,

Harnessing The Power Of Music

A proud, black piano stands in my parents living room. Its the foundation of our home. From behind the sleek mahogany panels, fury, sadness, and happiness express themselves without judgment. My operatic brother sings his troubles away. My mom, a lifelong piano teacher, often alludes to the power of music because it isnt just a creative outlet. Its a mood-setter. It establishes rhythm and dance. Therapists use it to explore cognitive and emotional turmoil. And it also facilitates social change.

Powerful songs have always been the engine behind the greatest social movements it is the marching soundtrack that unites the people and gives them focus and resolve, and its not limited to the U.S., Barrett Martin writes in HuffPost. In 1970s Nigeria, Fela Kuti invented Afro Beat music as a way to protest the oil company regime of Nigeria. His song Zombie became a global hit that railed against Nigerias military dictators. In South Africa, the indigenous Mbatanga music helped bring about the end of apartheid and it spread a message of peace and reconciliation in that nation.

If music is powerful enough to inspire entire chapters of history, what else is it capable of doing?

Feel The Rhythm: Music Therapy And Parkinsons Disease

Good News Giving: music therapy for Parkinson patients ...

Every year, the top Parkinsons experts from around the world who treat people with Parkinsons at a Parkinsons Foundation-designated Center of Excellence convene to discuss the latest Parkinsons research and treatments. This article summarizes the 2018 Center Leadership Conference presentation on music therapy led by Concetta M. Tomaino, DA, LCAT, MT-BC, Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Institute for Music and Neurologic Function in New York City. Read the articles covering some of the other topics discussed: intimacy issues, art therapy, new therapies in trial and oral health.

Music therapists are professionals who are academically trained and board certified to improve the everyday lives of their patients. More specifically, when people with Parkinsons disease work with a music therapist they see improvements in movement symptoms, speech, cognitive issues and mental health. Through dance programs, choirs and drumming programs, music therapy helps people with PD maintain function, express creativity and experience a better quality of life.

Music therapy can help someone with PD with:

Music therapy uses rhythm, melody and preferred movement to address issues that commonly affect people with PD, such as bradykinesia .

For more information about music therapy or where to find a music therapist near you, contact the Parkinsons Foundation toll-free Helpline at 1-800-4PD-INFO or .

Retrain And Recover Lost Functional Abilities

In Canada, music therapy is a regulated and growing discipline of professionals who use the elements of music to work towards goals of development, health and well being within a therapeutic relationship .

What makes music therapy so unique is its ability to address multiple functional areas of the brain at once. In short, music therapy is a holistic and versatile form of therapy that moves beyond words and taps into something inherent in all of us music and rhythm.

If you have questions about how music therapy might benefit you or someone you know, contact us to set up free phone consultation or speak to your treating therapist.

Statistical Methods And Sample Size

We will address our clinical research question by determining whether there is a significant change in fine motor skills following TIMP-RHY, TIMP-NR, and OT due to fine motor training compared to the non-therapy condition. We predict that TIMP-RHY will decrease mean GPT scores to a higher extent than the TIMP-NR and the OT groups. We will use an ANOVA F-test model to test this prediction on the mean GPT score change as well as pairwise contrasts with Tukey-Kramer correction for multiple comparisons to assess where the differences are. We do not expect such changes in the waitlist group due to the absence of fine motor strengthening. Given the large effect size of 0.8 sd/mean seen in other PD studies using the GPT grooved pegboard test as main outcome , we anticipate that our sample size of 25 per group will allow us to determine a group difference of 15% decreased time using the dominant hand and to be comparable to published data . We will also perform exploratory analyses using regression modeling to assess whether sex, age, or disease severity and cortical motor beta power changes are correlated with fine motor tests performance.

We will address our QOL research question by assessing changes in the PDQ-39 and CGI-I scales. As fine motor skills may improve, we expect a decrease in mean total scores after a 5-week TIMP-RHY session and to a lower extent after OT or TIMP-NR sessions. We do not expect a change of QOL mean scores in the waitlist group.

Music Therapy And Gait: Rehab To A Different Beat

Research suggests the use of rhythmic stimuli for gait rehabilitation can help improve gait and balance in patients with Parkinson disease, stroke, and other conditions, but some questions regarding its overall applicability and optimal delivery method remain.

Moving ones body in sync with the rhythm of music is a natural phenomenon that anyone whos ever danced to a beat can easily attest to.1,2 Because rhythm is an essential element in both music and many motor-control functions, music is capable of stimulating synchronized bodily movements, and this phenomenon can bring about positive therapeutic effects beyond the pleasure of dancing to ones favorite song.3,4

The concept of music as a therapy has been around for thousands of years, and was originally based on ancient beliefs that it can have a healing effect on mind and body.5 More recently, music therapy has been used in research and clinical settings to rehabilitate patients with neurological or physical disorders, and one of its emerging applications is for improving gait in those with impairments.6-9

Current research has shown that this type of music therapy can lead to significant improvements in various aspects of gait, as well as balance, in patients with Parkinson disease and stroke.10-17 But the evidence base in support of music therapy for improving gait in other neurological disorders is not as strong, and some questions regarding its overall applicability and optimal delivery method remain.18-24

Data Collection Management And Accessibility

Neurological Music Therapy, the Vagus Nerve and Parkinson’s Disease

MEG data collection is under the responsibility of a trained neurophysiology specialist to ensure data quality and assessment of unplanned data contamination. Motor scales and surveys are being collected by the study investigator who has been thoroughly trained by clinical and research colleagues during past clinical trials. Each measure and scale used in this study is widely used in the research community and has proven reliability and validity in the scientific literature. After collection, data is entered into the local Research Electronic Data Capture database, and data entry is verified by a research assistant non-affiliated to the study. Only complete sets of data will be included in the analysis. Study PI and statistician will have access to the final trial dataset.

Music Helps Movement Mood In Parkinson’s Patients

This is the first time that music therapy’s effect on Parkinson’s has been objectively studied, the Italian researchers say, and their results appear in the latest issue of the journal Psychosomatic Medicine.

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive, incurable nervous system disease that is characterized by difficulties walking, moving, and by uncontrollable tremors. It’s caused by a decrease in brain cells that create dopamine, a chemical that is important for regulating body movement. Often, improving patients’ ability to move and walk can help improve their well-being.

Thirty-two Parkinson’s patients with mild to moderate disability participated in the study. They were divided into two equal groups — one group went through three months of weekly physical therapy sessions the other had weekly music therapy sessions. The latter consisted of listening to music, creating it on instruments, and moving to it rhythmically.

The researchers noted that physical therapy improved stiffness — but did not have a significant effect on overall daily performance. Music therapy did. Patients reported improved ability to do such tasks as cut food and get dressed, and said they were less likely to fall or experience the sudden freezing-up of muscles that occurs with Parkinson’s. Also patients with Parkinson’s sometimes have trouble initiating movement, and music therapy improved this problem — possibly because of its rhythmical quality, the authors suggest.

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