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Dance improves affective state in individuals with Parkinson’s Disease

Dance improves affective state in individuals with Parkinson’s Disease

Name:D'Alessandro, Emily

School/Affiliation:York University

Co-Authors:Danai Kokkinopoulou, Jasmine Mosavi, Karolina A. Bearss, Ashkan Karimi, Rachel Bar, Joseph FX DeSouza

Virtual or In-person:In-person


Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disease marked by the death of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. While motor symptoms are the focus of neurorehabilitation for individuals with PD, non-motor symptoms (NMS) are often considered as precursors and can have debilitating effects on the individual’s affective state. Neurorehabilitative methods that can target NMS is relevant to improve these individuals’ quality of life.
An fMRI study by DeSouza et al. (2022) demonstrated a reduction in depression scores using GDS, correlated with reduced BOLD signals in the subcallosal cingulate gyrus (SCG) over an 8-month period of participation in dance classes. Our aim is to demonstrate that dance improves symptoms of both generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and major depressive disorder (MDD) through changes in the participants PANAS-X scores and fMRI activity before and after Dance for PD classes, collected from 2013-2019. The PANAS-X affect categories were divided based on DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for GAD and MDD. Brain regions of interest for GAD are the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), bilateral medial prefrontal cortex and superior frontal gyrus, the middle temporal gyrus, inferior parietal lobe and the amygdala and regions of interest for MDD are the medial and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, OFC, SCG, supplementary motor area, and the inferior and superior parietal lobe. A significant difference was found in anxiety and depression symptoms after dance, along with a significant difference in BOLD signal in the superior temporal gyrus (STG), SCG and ventral tegmental area (VTA).

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