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Dance for People with Alzheimer’s Disease: A Systematic Review

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Background: In recent years, several reviews have addressed the effectiveness of dance therapy in dementia, healthy older adults, or the elderly in general. However, reviews regarding the effect of this therapy exclusively on patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease have not been found.

Objective: The purpose of this study is to review the available literature describing clinical trials which explore the effects of dancing on psychological and physical outcomes, functionality, cognitive function, and quality of life in patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, this review aims to assess the quality of studies that perform dance therapy interventions in these patients.

Methods: This study is a systematic review of randomized and non-randomized clinical trials regarding the effect of intervention including a dancing activity in people diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.

Results: In total, the evidence for this review rests on 12 studies with a total of 349 participants. The findings of this mini-review confirm the positive effect of dance therapy on physical and cognitive function, functionality, psychological outcomes, and quality of life in people with Alzheimer's disease.

Conclusion: Most of the studies implementing dance as part of the therapeutic treatment has shown to improve or slow the worsening in the quality of life of patients with Alzheimer's disease and their caregivers. Future research focused on these patients should use a more exhaustive methodology and make a more detailed description of these kind of interventions.
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Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; benefits; dance therapy; dancing; efficacy; review

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: September 1, 2019

This article was made available online on August 7, 2019 as a Fast Track article with title: "Dance for People with Alzheimer’s Disease: A Mini-Review".

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  • Current Alzheimer Research publishes peer-reviewed frontier review and research articles on all areas of Alzheimer's disease. This multidisciplinary journal will help in understanding the neurobiology, genetics, pathogenesis, and treatment strategies of Alzheimer's disease. The journal publishes objective reviews written by experts and leaders actively engaged in research using cellular, molecular, and animal models. The journal also covers original articles on recent research in fast emerging areas of molecular diagnostics, brain imaging, drug development and discovery, and clinical aspects of Alzheimer's disease. Manuscripts are encouraged that relate to the synergistic mechanism of Alzheimer's disease with other dementia and neurodegenerative disorders. Book reviews, meeting reports and letters-to-the-editor are also published. The journal is essential reading for researchers, educators and physicians with interest in age-related dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Current Alzheimer Research provides a comprehensive 'bird's-eye view' of the current state of Alzheimer's research for neuroscientists, clinicians, health science planners, granting, caregivers and families of this devastating disease.
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