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Singing in your head could improve gait in Parkinson’s
Author: Simge Eva DoganPublished: 11 September 2019
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Researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine, US, have found that ‘mental singing’ could improve the walking pattern – known as gait variability – in people with Parkinson’s.
The study – published in medical journal ‘Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy’ – collected data from 60 people with an average age of 65, half of whom had Parkinson’s.
Each participant did three walking tests: walking and listening to music, walking and singing aloud without music, and walking and singing in their heads. The nursery rhyme ‘Row, Row, Row Your Boat’ was used for all test conditions.
All participants experienced better walking patterns while singing mentally. The researchers found that walking at a faster pace – while singing in their heads – was also linked with improved gait.
The study authors said: “Internal cues allow people to increase gait velocity while simultaneously reducing gait variability, which may ultimately contribute to enhanced gait stability and reduced fall risk.”
To find out more about Parkinson’s and gait, please visit the Parkinson’s Europe website.
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