The Parkinson Research Foundation (PRF) has provided a $30,000 grant donation to help support a research study being conducted in conjunction through the University of Florida in Gainesville.
The study will look take a closer look at the efficacy of aerobics and dance classes, which are specifically tailored for people with Parkinson’s. According to Marilyn Tait, Executive Director of Parkinson Place, the medical community has accepted that exercise is essential for Parkinson’s patients, but not integrative dance or yoga. There really aren’t any treatments out there that incorporate specific exercise types of exercise programs for people with Parkinson’s.
This type of study is of particular importance because has been little research done on the effect of aerobics and dance on Parkinson’s patients. According to Tait, the medical community’s primary treatment for Parkinson’s is medication and alternative treatments need data to back up their validity. The last studies done on the topic were 10 years ago and never got published.
Heading up the research study is Jill Sonke, Director of the Center for the Arts in Medicine at the University of Florida. Sonke is one of the faculty members of the School of Theatre and Dance and serves as the Assistant Director and Artist in Residence with Shands Arts in Medicine. Her specialty is dance in medicine.
“I think the results of the study are going to cause health care providers that see Parkinson’s patients to make this an important part of treatment,” said Larry Hoffheimer, founder of PRF.
A principal mission of the PRF is to educate patients and their care givers – enabling them to live fuller and more comfortable lives. PRF holds seminars, conferences, and educational cruises.