the power of music in Parkinson’s

i love music. i love finding new songs, bands, genres, instruments, etc. I wasn’t blessed with natural musical talent, like a greater part of my family, but i still have the passion and ear for it. music has the powerful to lift my spirits and inspire, and i love sharing this with others.

my first attempt at music, piano recital (1990)

my brother Jesse, the guitarist (1989)

aunt jen, grampy and dad playing tunes (1996)

music is used as a form of therapy and self-expression in a variety of medical conditions. music therapy has demonstrated significant improvements in persons with PD, especially for bradykinesia (stiffness), daily activities such as eating and dressing, falls, emotional well-being and quality of life.

music is also shown to improve rhythmic limb movements, walking and freezing in PD; and combined with physical therapy can have improved effects. music can act like a rhythmic cue or timekeeper that can stabilize the internal rhythm formation process and sequencing, such as initiation, execution and cadence. also, music can evoke strong emotional and motivational responses.

watch this video of a person’s with PD who is very stiff and rigid, with a shuffling gait at the beginning, and once the music turns on is able to “boogie”! pretty incredible!

Dr. Oliver Sacks is an author, physician, and professor of neurology/psychiatry
who was involved in the first administration of Levodopa for people with post-encephaletic Parkinson’s. enjoy this clip of him speaking on the power of music for PD…

if you are interested in learning more, here’s a selection of articles to check out…

so, crank the tunes and enjoy the beat! much love.

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