Elizabeth Stegemoller, associate professor of kinesiology, leads a singing group for people with Parkinson's disease. The study done by Stegemoller and other researchers showed the benefits that singing can have on those who have Parkinson's disease.

Singing may reduce stress, improve motor function for people with Parkinson’s disease

The results from a recent pilot study done by Iowa State researchers shows that singing may lead to improvements in mood and motor function for people with Parkinson's disease. While the data is only preliminary, assistant professor of kinesiology Elizabeth Stegemöller says that the improvements made from singing are similar to improvements made when taking medication. 

The study, conducted by Stegemöller, Elizabeth "Birdie" Shirtcliff, associate professor of human development and family studies, and graduate student in kinesiology Andrew Zaman, is one of the first to examine how singing affects heart rate, blood pressure, and cortisol levels in people with Parkinson's. The heart rate, blood pressure, and cortisol levels of 17 participants were taken before the singing session, and participants expressed feelings of sadness, anxiety, happiness, and anger. After the singing session, all three levels were reduced. 

Read the full story from the ISU News Service here.