Tango for treatment of motor and non-motor manifestations in Parkinson's disease: a randomized control study

Complement Ther Med. 2015 Apr;23(2):175-84. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2015.01.015. Epub 2015 Feb 9.


Objective: To determine effects of Argentine tango on motor and non-motor manifestations of Parkinson's disease.

Design: Randomized control trial.

Participants: Forty patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease.

Setting: Movement disorder clinic and dance studio.

Intervention: Two randomized groups: group (N=18) with 24 partnered tango classes, and control self-directed exercise group (N=15).

Main outcomes measures: The primary outcome was overall motor severity. Secondary outcomes included other motor measures, balance, cognition, fatigue, apathy, depression and quality of life.

Results: On the primary intention-to-treat analysis there was no difference in motor severity between groups MDS-UPDRS-3 (1.6 vs.1.2-point reduction, p=0.85). Patient-rated clinical global impression of change did not differ (p=0.33), however examiner rating improved in favor of tango (p=0.02). Mini-BESTest improved in the tango group compared to controls (0.7±2.2 vs. -2.7±5.9, p=0.032). Among individual items, tango improved in both simple TUG time (-1.3±1.6s vs. 0.1±2.3, p=0.042) and TUG Dual Task score (0.4±0.9 vs. -0.2±0.4, p=0.012), with borderline improvement in walk with pivot turns (0.2±0.5 vs. -0.1±0.5, p=0.066). MoCa (0.4±1.6 vs. -0.6±1.5, p=0.080) and FSS (-3.6±10.5 vs. 2.5±6.2, p=0.057) showed a non-significant trend toward improvement in the tango group. Tango participants found the activity more enjoyable (p<0.001) and felt more "overall" treatment satisfaction (p<0.001). We found no significant differences in other outcomes or adverse events.

Conclusion: Argentine tango can improve balance, and functional mobility, and may have modest benefits upon cognition and fatigue in Parkinson's disease. These findings must be confirmed in longer-term trials explicitly powered for cognition and fatigue.

Keywords: Argentine tango; Dance therapy; Parkinson's disease; Treatment.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Dance Therapy / methods*
  • Dancing
  • Gait
  • Humans
  • Motor Skills
  • Parkinson Disease / physiopathology
  • Parkinson Disease / therapy*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Postural Balance
  • Quality of Life
  • Treatment Outcome