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Monday

 

Ballroom Dance for Multiple Sclerosis? Why Not?



Image source: DINNERDANCINGCLUB

Shall we dance?

Preliminary results of a recent study presented at the annual meeting of the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers in May indicate that “…ballroom dance can be a fun, social form of physical activity for people with MS that can result in improved motor performance, gait, endurance, and cognition.”

Ballroom-style dancing has previously shown benefit in patients with Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. A small study published in Disability and Rehabilitation in April suggested that structured salsa lessons could improve physical activity, gait, and balance in people with MS.

The more recent study had participants with MS paired with partners without MS dancing the rumba, foxtrot, waltz, swing, American tango, and push-pull, as well as salsa. The researchers, most of them from Marquette University in Milwaukee, recruited people who could get around with minimal to moderate aid and were able to physically take part in the program.

Not only did certain symptoms improve — including motor performance, gait, endurance, and cognition — there is evidence that MS-related fatigue was also lessened, independent of normal improvements expected with increased cardiovascular activity.

The social- and physical-activity aspects of a structured dance class may make sense for many of us. Also, to my mind, it seems logical that learning something new — particularly something new having to do with the use of our limbs, balance, and rhythm — can help the brain create new neurological pathways.

Neuroplasticity is the mechanism by which our brains can “rewire” themselves to get around damage. The study’s authors say that, “Like all therapies, it will not be for everyone, but if the trial is proven to be safe and effective, it could be a fun and engaging option.”

So there you have it: another reason to get out there and learn something new. Maybe Jack Osbourne was onto something…

Wishing you and your family the best of health.

Cheers

Trevis

My book, Chef Interrupted, is available on Amazon. Follow me on the Life With MS Facebook page and on Twitter, and subscribe to Life With Multiple Sclerosis.

Story Source: The above story is based on materials provided by EVERYDAYHEALTH
Note: Materials may be edited for content and length


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