Dance therapy for Alzheimer’s disease
A novel approach to the most common form of dementia
- By: Karin Purshouse, Elizabeta Mukaetova-Ladinska
As medical students we are hesitant towards and often shielded from speaking to people with dementia because they are difficult patients from whom to take a detailed history. We also forget the value of taking a collateral history from friends and relatives. Considering therapeutic options and their potential benefits is easily ignored. Can dance therapy combat the specific symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, and do other benefits from dance therapy suggest that it promotes a more patient centred approach than simply giving drugs?
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, an illness which also encompasses vascular dementia and Lewy body dementia.1 The disease presents with symptoms of gradual and progressive impairment in memory, judgment, and other cognitive functions.2 The patient’s carer often carries the physical burden of helping with daily activities, which increases the carer’s risk of depression and mental health, not least because of grief at gradually watching