Navigation Links
Parkinson's patients sing in tune with creative arts therapy
Date:6/14/2011

CHICAGO Twice a month a jam session takes place on the third floor of Northwestern Memorial's Prentice Women's Hospital. A diverse group of men and women, ranging in age and ethnicity, gather in a circle with instruments in hand and sing together. This is no ordinary jam band; all its members have Parkinson's disease. They are participating in Creative Arts for Parkinson's, a music and drama therapy program offered through Northwestern's Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Center.

Creative Arts for Parkinson's is lead by specially trained music and drama therapists from the Institute for Therapy through the Arts (ITA). The participants are asked to reach deep into their emotions and to push themselves physically to achieve the therapeutic benefits which address both the symptoms of the disease and its psychological burden.

On a recent Monday afternoon, the group took turns singing something that describes who they are while keeping the beat with percussion pieces. A small woman with a slight tremor sings in a loud, strong voice: "My disease made me stronger!" The group around her enthusiastically joins the chant, clapping their instruments, singing "My disease made me stronger! My disease made me stronger!"

"Patient care is much more than just medical; it's caring for the whole person," said Tanya Simuni, MD, a neurologist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and director of the Parkinson 's Disease and Movement Disorders Center. Simuni is also an associate professor of neurology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. "By providing music and drama therapy, we are hoping to help these patients find new means of fulfillment in their lives while also addressing some of the physical components of their illness."

Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative brain disorder that affects nearly 1.5 million Americans. Progressing slowly in most people, the disease involves a lack of dopamine in the brain which causes symptoms including tremor, slowness of movement, muscle stiffness and balance problems.

"Our goal is to find new approaches to help these patients address their illness," explained Diane Breslow, MSW, LCSW, coordinator and social worker for the center. "Very often with Parkinson's disease there is a fear of the future and the unknown; we want to give these patients a better way to live with their disease in the present."

Music and drama therapy addresses many of the physical and emotional components of Parkinson's disease. Benefits include improvement of physical coordination and functional movement, postural awareness, as well as speech and voice enrichment.

"In the music portion, the patients are learning the concept of rhythm which helps them improve their gait and movement," explained Breslow. "Reading scripts during the drama portion increases word recall and articulation, while the voice is exercised in both parts of the class."

Beyond the physical benefits of the therapy, Creative Arts also enhances mood and positive attitude. The patients use the opportunity to set personal goals and encourage one another to address specific challenges they face because of their illness. During one session, the group read through a scene from the Academy Award winning "King's Speech." One of the men in the group acknowledges the similarities between the main character's experience and his own. He tells the class that when first diagnosed, he would speak softer or take smaller steps in anticipation of the disease eventually limiting these abilities. After this revelation, he proposed a challenge to the group: "Let's make it a goal to use our loud voices and make sure we can be heard. We need our loud voices."

Moments like this are why Breslow loves her job. "I've seen firsthand how these techniques bring out feelings the patients might not otherwise have access to," said Breslow. "Music and drama are a beautiful way to access and deal with life experiences and Parkinson's disease. I learn more from these patients than I give."


'/>"/>

Contact: Megan McCann
memccann@nmh.org
312-926-5900
Northwestern Memorial Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Pacemaker implantation for heart failure does not benefit nearly half of the patients
2. Certain head and neck cancer patients benefit from second round of treatment
3. Bariatric surgery among older, high-risk patients not associated with reduced mortality
4. Diversion of ambulances associated with increased risk of death for heart-attack patients
5. Hypnosis/local anesthesia combination during surgery helps patients, reduces hospital stays
6. ER Docs Frustrated, Burned Out by Repeat Patients: Survey
7. Chemo for Late-Stage Cancer Patients May Be Unjustified
8. Vytorin Lowers Heart Disease Risk in Large Study of Kidney Patients
9. Cancer Patients Struggle as Drug Costs Soar: Study
10. Study finds bankruptcy rates among cancer patients increase along with survival time
11. Many patients with advanced cancers get treatments that wont help
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... MetLoop CEO ... new 2.0 version at the International Roofing Expo in Orlando, Florida on February ... world's most advanced weather technology in the hands of consumers, roofing contractors, manufacturers ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 10, 2016 , ... ... American Academy of Emergency Medicine , an emergency medicine professional association, ... practice management services . , The American Academy of Emergency Medicine, or AAEM, ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... 10, 2016 , ... Emergency rooms provide emergency care to stabilize critical health ... patients with dental emergencies at risk of losing a tooth or their smiles. Dr. ... , Common dental emergencies include:, , Avulsed or knocked-out teeth ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... Dr. Jessica Barron, of Barron ... accepting new dental patients and families in the North Metro Denver area. The new ... cleanings to cosmetic dentistry, and all in the most relaxing environment. , While some ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... United Benefit Advisors (UBA), ... latest addition to its growing list of Partner Firms. S.S. Nesbitt is ... Orlando to Huntsville and in between. , Harnessing the experience and insights of ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)... SAN DIEGO , Feb. 10, 2016 ... viral gene therapy manufacturing, and Renova™ Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical ... and other chronic diseases, have entered into a Manufacturing ... produce cGMP-grade RT-100 (Ad5.hAC6) Drug Product for use in ... --> This relationship will leverage Lonza,s ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... Calif. , Feb. 10, 2016  Rich Pharmaceuticals, ... today announced a 1-for-100 reverse split of its issued ... opening of trading on Thursday, February 11, 2016. The ... under new CUSIP number 76303T308 and temporary ticker symbol ... commence trading under the ticker symbol (RCHA).  ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... , Feb. 10, 2016  The ALS Association, in partnership ... Grand Challenge to generate a biomarker to track TDP43 aggregation. ... up to a $1 million investment. ... disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the ... initiate and control muscle movement, which often leads to total ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: