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Author Notes:

Correspondence to: Johnathan Lucas McKay, Ph.D., Emory Rehabilitation Hospital, Room R154, 1441 Clifton Road, Atlanta, Georgia, USA 30322; j.lucas.mckay@emory.edu; (404) 941-5157 (voice), (404) 727-9873 (fax)

The authors thank H. Bartlett, J. Bingham, S. Chvatal, J. Jilk, K. Kramer, M. McCall, C. Pope, A. Ruedrich, S. Safavynia, H. Sohn, A. Adams, P. Dillard, E. Renz, A. Robinson, and A. Daftarian for assistance with experiments and data processing, K. Pirog Revill for assistance with recruitment, assessment, and study conduct, K. Lang for researching clinical instruments, and thank the Georgia Tech/Georgia State Center for Advanced Brain Imaging for providing space for the intervention.

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


Research Funding:

This work was supported in part by NIH R21 HD075612-01, NSF EFRI 1137229, Tango Under the Tent, Inc. and by the Emory Udall Center.

JLM was supported by the Atlanta Clinical and Translational Science Institute KL2-Mentored Clinical and Translational Research Program (NIH RR025008, UL1TR000454 and KL2TR000455).

MEH was supported by the Department of Veterans Affairs R&D service Career Development Awards E7108M and N0870W.


  • Science & Technology
  • Life Sciences & Biomedicine
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Rehabilitation
  • Neurosciences & Neurology
  • dance therapy
  • electromyography
  • exercise therapy
  • human movement system
  • postural balance
  • GAIT
  • Parkinson's Disease

Balance, Body Motion, and Muscle Activity After High-Volume Short-Term Dance-Based Rehabilitation in Persons With Parkinson Disease: A Pilot Study


Journal Title:

Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy


Volume 40, Number 4


, Pages 257-268

Type of Work:

Article | Post-print: After Peer Review


Background and Purpose: The objectives of this pilot study were to (1) evaluate the feasibility and investigate the efficacy of a 3-week, high-volume (450 minutes per week) Adapted Tango intervention for community-dwelling individuals with mild-moderate Parkinson disease (PD) and (2) investigate the potential efficacy of Adapted Tango in modifying electromyographic (EMG) activity and center of body mass (CoM) displacement during automatic postural responses to support surface perturbations. Methods: Individuals with PD (n = 26) were recruited for highvolume Adapted Tango (15 lessons, 1.5 hour each over 3 weeks). Twenty participants were assessed with clinical balance and gait measures before and after the intervention. Nine participants were also assessed with support-surface translation perturbations. Results: Overall adherence to the intervention was 77%. At posttest, peak forward CoM displacement was reduced (4.0 ± 0.9 cm, pretest, vs 3.7 ± 1.1 cm, posttest; P = 0.03; Cohen's d = 0.30) and correlated to improvements on Berg Balance Scale (p = .0.68; P = 0.04) and Dynamic Gait Index (p =.0.75; P = 0.03). Overall antagonist onset time was delayed (27 ms; P = 0.02; d = 0.90) and duration was reduced (56 ms, .39%, P = 0.02; d = 0.45). Reductions in EMG magnitude were also observed (P < 0.05). Discussion and Conclusions: Following participation in Adapted Tango, changes in kinematic and some EMG measures of perturbation responses were observed in addition to improvements in clinical measures. We conclude that 3-week, high-volume Adapted Tango is feasible and represents a viable alternative to longer duration adapted dance programs.

Copyright information:

© 2016 Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy, APTA.

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