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People with Parkinson’s perform dance at conference

A group of Irish and Italian people with Parkinson’s disease gave an Irish dance performance at a health conference in County Clare – three years after an Italian neurologist set up a study group to examine the effect of Irish set dancing on Parkinson’s patients.

Dr. Daniele Volpe was in Feakle, County Clare, in 2010 when he noticed a man with Parkinson’s disease finding it easier to dance than to walk. Dr. Volpe returned to Venice and set up the Black Sheep group for Irish set dancing, studying its effects on people with Parkinson’s disease.

There are now 35 people in the group and the dance teacher, Romano Baratella, says that: “Over the past three years, we have seen big progress for our dancers. They are better with their equilibrium and they are also a little bit happier.”

A wider study of the therapeutic effects of dancing for people with Parkinson’s disease has been instigated by Dr. Timothy Lynch, the group’s consultant neurologist.

The study is scheduled to begin next month at the University of Limerick, and we at The Good Care Group will be following its progress with interest. We are passionate about the positive effects of well-being on people with complex conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, and we welcome developments that help patients and their carers manage these kinds of conditions in a positive way.