Randomized controlled trial of community-based dancing to modify disease progression in Parkinson disease

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

205 Scopus citations


Background. Tango dancing has been effective in improving measures of physical function in people with Parkinson disease (PD). However, all previous studies were institution-based, tested participants on medication, and employed short-term interventions. Objective. To determine the effects of a 12-month community-based tango program for individuals withPD on disease severity and physical function. Methods. Sixty-two participants were randomly assigned to a twice weekly, community-based Argentine Tango program or a Control group (no intervention). Participants were assessed off anti- Parkinson medication at baseline, 3, 6, and 12 months. The primary outcome measure was the Movement Disorders Society-Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale 3 (MDS-UPDRS-3). Secondary outcome measures were the MDS-UPDRS-1, MDS-UPDRS-2, MiniBESTest balance test; Freezing of Gait Questionnaire (FOG-Q); 6-Minute Walk Test (6MWT); gait velocity for comfortable forward, fast as possible forward, dual task, and backward walking; and Nine-Hole Peg Test (9HPT). Results. Groups were not different at baseline. Overall, the Tango group improved whereas the Control group showed little change on most measures. For the MDS-UPDRS-3, there was no significant change in the Control group from baseline to 12 months, whereas the Tango group had a reduction of 28.7% (12.8 points). There were significant group by time interactions for MDS-UPDRS-3, MiniBESTest, FOG-Q, 6MWT, forward and dual task walking velocities, and 9HPT in favor of the dance group. Conclusions. Improvements in the Tango group were apparent off medication, suggesting that long-term participation in tango may modify progression of disability in PD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)132-143
Number of pages12
JournalNeurorehabilitation and neural repair
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2012


  • Balance
  • Exercise
  • Gait
  • Parkinson disease
  • Rehabilitation


Dive into the research topics of 'Randomized controlled trial of community-based dancing to modify disease progression in Parkinson disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this