Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and Wake Forest University researchers are coming together to determine whether improvisational dance could help those with dementia and boost quality of life.
Researchers will find out whether this type of dance can improve gait and balance issues that come with impaired cognitive function and memory loss, as well as whether it can help with apathy and depression, a Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center release said.
Christina Hugenschmidt, assistant professor of gerontology and geriatric medicine at Wake Forest Baptist, and Christina Soriano, associate professor of dance at Wake Forest University, will direct the three-year clinical trial.
In the current study, participants are placed into one of four groups for 12 weeks: dance with social engagement, dance only, social engagement or no contact.
This study is based on the results of a previous test funded by Blue Cross Blue Shield through a wellness initiative at Wake Forest Baptist. In that earlier test, the pair of professors looked at how improvisational dance helped gait and balance, as well as the outlook on life of those with early-stage memory loss and whether improvements were related to improved brain activity.