A comprehensive Movement and Motion training program improves mobility in Parkinson’s disease

  • Narayanan KrishnamurthiEmail author
  • Claudia Murphey
  • Erika Driver-Dunckley
Original Article



Mobility in Parkinson’s disease (PD) is restricted due to impairments in gait and postural control. Although typical dance-based movement programs are beneficial in PD, many did not improve gait which may be due to the nature of the training, limited data, or both. Moreover, the investigation of the effects of a dance program specifically designed for people with PD is scarce.


To examine the effects of our newly developed, PD-specific, dance-based training program Movement and Motion (M&M), on mobility in people with PD.


Nineteen participants with mild-to-moderate PD (Hoehn and Yahr score 1–2) participated in a 10-week M&M training program (two 1-h sessions per week). Several quantitative and objective indices of stride-to-stride gait, posture, and range of motion and clinical scores were obtained pre- and post-M&M training. The significance of the changes in these measures after the training was tested using paired t test or Wilcoxon signed-rank test and changes were considered significant at p < 0.05.


Gait velocity, stride length, double support and stance durations, the degree of arm swing, and turning significantly improved after the training. Moreover, the time taken to initiate movement shifts and target reach significantly decreased after the training. In addition, the range of motion at many major joints significantly increased.


The improvements in the gait, posture, and range of motion measures indicate greater gait stability, posture control, and flexibility, respectively, after M&M training.


The movements involved in M&M training address specific impairments in PD, such as decreased amplitude and speed of movements, increased stiffness, and altered posture control during leaning and reaching. Results indicate that regular practice of PD-specific M&M training can alleviate the targeted impairments and, thus, may lead to improved mobility and quality of life for people with PD.


Parkinson’s disease Dance training Gait Posture control 



This study is supported by the Arizona State University-Mayo Clinic seed grant (no. 11028921).


The study was supported by a seed grant program between Arizona State University and Mayo Clinic, AZ.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Statement of human and animal rights

All procedures performed in this study were in accordance with the ethical standards of the appropriate institutional review boards and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

All participants voluntarily signed the informed consent form before participating in the screening process.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Edson College of Nursing and Health InnovationArizona State UniversityPhoenixUSA
  2. 2.School of Film, Dance, and TheaterArizona State UniversityTempeUSA
  3. 3.Department of NeurologyMayo ClinicScottsdaleUSA

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