Singing, a good medicine for Parkinson’s

Singing, a good medicine for Parkinson’s

Agency News

The relevance of singing is being reinvented by modern medicine day by day.

The latest finding is that singing will help to reduce the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects neurons in a specific area of the brain. For Parkinson’s there is no cure and the cause of the disease still remains largely unknown.

The advantage of Singing is that it may reduce stress level. Scientists found that the benefits of musical therapy were similar to taking medication and thus can reduce the symptoms of Parkinson’s. Researchers from Iowa State University in the U.S. measured heart rate, blood pressure and cortisol levels for 17 participants in a therapeutic singing group.

Participants also reported feelings of sadness, anxiety, happiness and anger. Data was collected prior to and following a one-hour singing session. “We see the improvement every week when they leave singing group. It’s almost like they have a little pep in their step. We know they’re feeling better and their mood is elevated,” said Elizabeth Stegemoller, an assistant professor.

“Some of the symptoms that are improving, such as finger tapping and the gait, don’t always readily respond to medication, but with singing they’re improving,” said Ms. Stegemoller.

This is one of the first studies to look at how singing affects heart rate, blood pressure and cortisol in people with Parkinson’s disease. All three levels were reduced, but Ms. Stegemoller said with the preliminary data the measures did not reach statistical significance.