Parkinson’s Disease and Music Therapy
Music has the unique power to transform our lives in many positive ways. It elevates our moods, promotes sleep and connects us to others. Studies have even found that using music can help those suffering from Parkinson’s disease (PD) manage their symptoms more effectively.
There is evidence that music therapy can reduce anxiety and depression, improve motor function, and enhance quality of life for those living with Parkinson’s Disease. Studies are currently focused on exploring various music therapy techniques which address both motor and non-motor symptoms associated with the condition.
One of the most widely prescribed music-based interventions for Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is rhythmic auditory stimulation (RAS). RAS helps individuals with PD retrain their gait by stimulating brainwaves associated with different movement frequencies. Furthermore, this therapy activates parts of the brain involved in both movement and emotion.
Studies have demonstrated that RAS can assist patients in regaining balance and walking more securely without fear of falling. It may also enhance their gait speed, enabling them to move more efficiently and comfortably.
One technique commonly employed in RAS is rhythmic auditory synchronization (RAS Sync). This involves using a metronome and music that patients must follow while walking. As the tempo of the song or music increases each week during treatment, patients are encouraged to increase their speed when synchronizing with it.
Studies have demonstrated that singing can assist patients with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) to improve their gait and reduce symptoms related to it, such as slowness of movement and difficulty maintaining balance. Singing has been found to enhance gait and balance through improved motor function, increased muscle tone, and lowered fall risk.
Singing is an invaluable activity for people with Parkinson’s Disease to hone their vocal abilities and sharpen speech and language abilities. Not only that, but singing also has been known to enhance emotional wellbeing and boost self-esteem in those affected by PD.
Other musical techniques used in MT include therapeutic singing, which can enhance speech and language abilities. It may also aid people with Parkinson’s Disease improve their mood and reduce social isolation.
Music therapy is a promising treatment for Parkinson’s Disease (PD), but more research is necessary to fully comprehend its effects on patients. To do this research, scientists need to know how to design clinical studies that are powered to detect meaningful differences between groups of PD patients. With this understanding, clinicians will be better equipped with information about which type of music-based therapy will be most beneficial for each group of PD individuals.