The learning of complex motor tasks has been associated with increased structural and functional connectivity in the brain. The acquisition of complex motor skill is associated with neuroplastic changes in both gray and white matter. Dance is universal in human cultures and is a complex motor skill that integrates multiple parts of the brain. Evidence shows that the brain of dancers has thicker gray matter and increased white matter integrity in task dependent brain regions compared to controls. Long-term dance training is associated with neuroplasticity in gray- and white-matter regions associated with motor and auditory functions.
Can the neuroprotective benefits of dance be channeled for neurorestorative therapy in MS?
In this course, we explore the role of targeted dance as a potential disease compensatory mechanism in the management of MS. We will review the neuroscience of dance, existing and on-going studies of dance in MS, physiologic and psychosocial effects of dance and neuromuscular re-patterning through dance in MS.