Why Walk when You can Dance? Music-based Biofeedback for Parkinson's' Disease
Dr. Bin Hu
University of Calgary
About the researcher
Undergraduate Student at the University of Calgary
People with Parkinson’s Disease often struggle to walk properly, since the part of their brain important for initiating movement decays. But why walk when you can dance? Paradoxically, many people with Parkinson’s can still dance to music. Check out this video to see this in action! Abulosono is a music-based biofeedback program that uses this important feature of music to help retrain the brain of people with Parkinson’s to walk normally.
Think about how critical walking is to your every day life. From the moment you wake up, you have to walk around your home, around your neighborhood, and your community. For people with Parkinson’s, simply walking down the hall can feel as challenging as walking for miles up a steep hill. Successfully getting down the hall can be a draining act, and many people might feel too frustrated to even try sometimes. Ambulosono can help make walking a much more manageable task for people with Parkinson’s, which in turn can greatly increase their overall quality of life. While there are medications that can help with Parkinson’s, they often only work for a limited period of time. Having another option, like Ambulosono, can help people reduce their dosage, or save drug-based approaches for later in life when they might be more necessary.
So far, Ambulosono has had some very promising initial findings at multiple different research sites. The next step is to start to scale things up so that this treatment can be brought to a wider range of people struggling from Parkinson’s Disease.