International Ballroom Dancing Against Neurodegeneration: A Randomized Controlled Trial in Greek Community-Dwelling Elders With Mild Cognitive impairment

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Background:Many studies have highlighted the positive effects of dance in people with neurodegenerative diseases.Objectives:To explore the effects of International Ballroom Dancing on cognitive function in elders with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI).Methods:One-hundred twenty-nine elderly patients with aMCI diagnosis (mean age 66.8 ± 10.1 years) were randomly assigned into 2 groups: intervention group (IG, n = 66) and control group (CG, n = 63). The IG exercised systematically for 10 months, and both groups were submitted to extensive neuropsychological assessment prior and after the 10-month period.Results:According to the independent sample t test at the follow-up, significant differences between groups were found in benefit of the IG while the CG showed worse performance in the majority of neuropsychological tests. According to the Student t test, better performance is detected in IG in contrast with CG, which had worse performance almost in all scales.Conclusion:Dance may be an important nonpharmacological approach that can benefit cognitive functions.

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