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  1. Music and Parkinson's Disease

    I have had DBS for 4+ years, and in the last 16-18 months have picked up my musical instrumetns (mostly keyboards and guitar) with the goal of restoring lost coordination of fingering skills. This, plus singing with a group of Parkinson's People, has enabled me to reduce symptoms and improve cognitive skills and mood. I find that the combination of DBS programming, diet, exercise (including Dance for Parkinson's), reduction of pain through surgery, and creative musical expression have all contributed to the whole picture, which is that I feel better than I did this time last year. I have recently read or heard of information that dance as an exercise for Parkinson's provides longer lasting symptom relief than other forms of exercise. Since performing and creating music should theoretically stimulate and challenge the brain more than simply moving to music, one might hypothesize that the beneficial effects of music might be even greater than those of dance or exercise. Questions are: Any other folks with PD using music to lift depression, restore energy, etc.? What level of skill had you originally attained and where are you now? More importantly, what effects have the practice of music had on your Quality of Life and disease symptoms? What other treatments are you taking, (not limited to prescription medications or DBS programming?) More of a medical research question: What is the current state of research on the use of music, either as a preventive, ameliorative, or restorative trreatment for the physical symptoms or emotional and psychological consequences of Parkinson's Disease (pre and post diagnosis) and other conditions that are related to dopamine deficiient and other neuro-transmitter deficient brains? (depression, bipolar, essential tremor, etc.) It may be important that my DBS implants (bilateral) were done shortly after medical specialists were able to observe sufficient criteria to be able to make the diagnosis of Parkinson's, or that I had several of the "warning signs" from about 16 - 17 years of age, and prior to the PD diagnosis had been treated for depression, RLS, RBD sleep disorder, essential tremor, and other conditions. Anyone know of any research being conducted in this area? Anyone care to add their experiences or comment? Does any of this resonate or "strike a chord" with you? Thanks!
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