A preliminary study presented this week at the 2018 Neuroscience Society conference revealed that singing can reduce stress and improve motor function in people with Parkinson's disease.
Research shows that an increase among patients who sing is similar to the benefits of taking drugs.
"Some symptoms that improve, like playing drums with fingers and the way they walk, don't always respond easily to drugs, but they increase with singing," explained Elizabeth Stegemoller, assistant professor of kinesiology at Iowa State University.
For the work, the researchers measured heart rate, blood pressure, and cortisol levels in 17 participants in the therapeutic therapy group. All three levels were reduced, even though the initial data did not reach statistical significance.
Information is collected before and after a one-hour singing session. The participants also reported feelings of sadness, anxiety, happiness and anger.
Now researchers are working with blood samples to measure oxytocin levels (hormone-related relationships), inflammatory changes (indicators of disease progression) and neuroplasticity (the brain's ability to compensate for injuries). or disease) to determine whether these factors can explain the benefits of singing.
Swallow and breathe
They previously found that singing is an effective treatment to improve breathing control and the muscles used to swallow in people with Parkinson's disease.
Elizabeth Stegemoller, is responsible for offering therapy to a group of patients with Parkinson once a week and there they conduct a series of vocal exercises.
"We don't try to make them sing better, but to help them strengthen the muscles that control the function of swallowing and breathing," he explained about care.
The song uses the same muscles that control swallowing and breathing, two functions that affect Parkinson's disease. Singing significantly increases body parts, he said.
"We work on adequate respiratory support, posture, and the way we use the muscles involved in the vocal cords, which require complex coordination of good and strong muscle activity," he explained.
He added that the patient's family members said that this practice also had other benefits, such as improving mood, decreasing stress and depression.