Through the power of DanCE, we can change the Face of Alzheimer’s

“Earlier is better” has become a mantra in the field of Alzheimer’s disease.  Experts are targeting the prevention or delay of memory decline, instead of just focusing on treating patients who have the disease with drugs.

Results from one of the largest clinical trials ever, Finger (3),  involving lifestyle changes such as diet, exercise, social interaction and lowering blood pressure and cholesterol significantly improved cognitive functioning in patients, compared with patients in a control group.  That being said, dancing is the only activity out of the 11 physical activities that were studied over 21 years, that protected against the risk of memory decline. And since no particular dance style was singled out in the research, we propose that social dancing (SD) be the focus in the follow-up study.

The Goals of DanCE are to:

  • Increase the awareness and the quality of the benefits of SD.
  • Change national public health policy and exercise recommendations to include SD for health.
  • Have doctors prescribe SD to reduce the frequency and severity of Alzheimer’s.
  • Validate SD as a viable alternative to drug therapy.

The rewards to support DanCE are to prevent or delay the onset of memory loss as we age.  That will lower Medicare and insurance cost similar to what happened in regards to nutritional labeling to reduce obesity and tobacco use to stamp out lung cancer.  Additionally,  the National Institute of Health, Alzheimer’s Association and the National Institute for Mental Health can list SD under their prevention programs as a more formidable way to protect you against the disease.   As an added benefit, it could inspire more and more people to want to learn how to SD and derive its therapeutic benefits.