Dancing or Fitness Sport? The Effects of Two Training Programs on Hippocampal Plasticity and Balance Abilities in Healthy Seniors


Kathrin Rehfeld1, Patrick Müller1, Norman Aye, Marlen Schmicker,
Milos Dordevic1, Jörn Kaufmann, Anita Hökelmann and Notger G. Müller

Summary:

Dancing combines aerobic fitness, sensorimotor skills, and cognitive demands while maintaining a low risk of injury. In this study, an 18-month dancing intervention was compared to traditional health fitness training. Researchers were looking for both volume increases in the hippocampus, a region of the brain crucial for memory consolidation, learning and navigation in space, as well as improvements in balance. While both the dancing group and traditional fitness group both showed volume increases in the hippocampus, the dancing group showed increases in more areas of the hippocampus as well as significant increase in the balance score. From these results the researchers concluded dancing seems to be a promising intervention for both improving balance and hippocampal structure in the elderly.

Year study was published: 2017

Mean age of participants in study: 68 years old

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