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Singing can reduce stress and improve mood for people with Parkinson's disease


Singing can reduce the stress and symptoms of Parkinson's disease, say scientists who have found that the benefits of musical therapy are similar to treatment. Researchers from Iowa State University in the United States measure heart rate, blood pressure and cortisol levels for 17 participants in therapeutic singing.

Participants also reported feelings of sadness, anxiety, happiness and anger. Data was collected before and after one hour of singing. "Every week, we notice an improvement when they quit singing. It's almost as if they have a bit of ash in their footsteps. We know that they feel better and their mood is elevated," said Elizabeth Stegemoller, an assistant professor at Iowa State University.

"Some of the symptoms that improve, such as finger and walking sucking, do not always respond to drugs, but they improve," said Stegemoller.

Parkinson's disease is a common, chronic degenerative central nervous system disorder affecting approximately 10 million people in the world. (Shutterstock)

This is one of the first studies to show how clinging affects heart rate, blood pressure and cortisol in people with Parkinson's disease. All three levels were reduced, but Stegemoller said with preliminary information that the measures had not reached statistical significance. There were no major differences in happiness or anger after class. However, the participants were less worried and sad.

The study is based on previous findings of the group that singing is an effective treatment for improving respiratory control and muscle for bruising in humans with Parkinson's disease.

Researchers have said that therapeutic singing can provide an accessible and affordable treatment option to improve the motor symptoms, stress and quality of life of people with Parkinson's disease.

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First Released: Nov 09, 2018 11:45 IST

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