Adapted Tango Research Featured on Georgia Public Broadcasting

Can teaching tango to people with Parkinson disease slow their disease progression? That question is explored on the latest episode of Your Fantastic Mind, a production of Georgia Public Broadcasting that digs deep into transformative science. This episode features MDT Education Solutions co-founder, Dr. Madeleine Hackney, and the life-changing research she conducts. In her research, Dr. Hackney uses an adapted version of tango that not only improves walking, balance and transfers, but is also a form of cognitive rehabilitation, in part because of the improvisational nature of tango. It also facilities social engagement in a fun environment. Watch the full episode here!

High Intensity Exercise Delays Parkinson's Progression

A new study published in JAMA Neurology in 2017 found that high-intensity exercise is safe for people with early-stage Parkinson disease and slows worsening of motor symptoms. This is the first time researchers have looked at the efficacy of high-intensity exercise for people with Parkinson disease. It was previously thought that high-intensity exercise was too physically stressful.  The 128 participants were between the ages of 40 and 80 and were not taking medication yet, so the results were totally due to exercise. The study showed that people with PD should exercise three times a week at a heart rate between 80 to 85 percent of maximum. Those in the study who exercised at a moderate intensity (60-65% of max heart rate) did not see the same benefits. Participants exercising at a high intensity were able to prevent worsening of their Parkinson's symptoms over the 6-month period of the study. 

Madeleine Hackney Featured on Podcast: "Tango vs. Parkinson Disease"

Want to learn more about Dr. Madeleine Hackney and her research on adapted Argentine Tango for Parkinson disease? Joe Yang, who completed MDT training with Madeleine, talks with Madeleine to learn about the inspiration for her research, what her research has uncovered and how people with Parkinson disease benefit. Madeleine had a successful career as a competitive ballroom dancer before becoming a researcher. She is an assistant professor at the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta and a research health scientist at the Atlanta VA Rehabilitation R&D Center of Excellence. Her research has been covered by the New York Times, Scientific American, NPR, The Atlanta Journal Constitution, among others. So what does Argentine Tango have to do with Parkinson disease? Click here to listen to the interview! 

Live Streaming Parkinson's Exercise Classes

The Greater St. Louis Chapter of the American Parkinson Disease Association is now live streaming Parkinson's exercise classes. Multiple classes are available to view every week, including Tai Chi, yoga, chair side and interval training. Several of the classes are taught by Tricia Creel, one of our founders. This a great way for people with PD to exercise at home on days when they are not able to get to a fitness center. View a class by clicking here.

Adapted Tango Class in St. Louis

We are excited to announce the first adapted tango class for people with Parkinson disease in St. Louis! The class structure is based on the research done by one of our founders, Dr. Madeleine Hackney. The class is being held at Convergence Dance and Body Center. Participants love the social aspect of the class as well as learning how move with increased awareness and coordination. You can read one of the articles authored by Dr. Hackney on the subject of adapted tango by clicking here.

Successful Course in Quincy, IL

We just completed our first course in Illinois and our first course attended entirely by therapists! On January 20-21, 2017, twelve therapists from Blessing Home Care completed the "Community Exercise for People with Parkinson's Disease" course, taught by one of our founders, Tricia Creel, PT. The course participants plan to start two PD-specific exercise classes in February at the brand new Blessing Wellness Center in Quincy, IL. Although the therapists were experienced in working with people with PD in a clinical setting, they really benefitted from learning how to translate those skills into a group exercise setting. They also reported that they gained a lot of new treatment ideas. We look forward to hearing how the classes go!

YMCA of Metro Atlanta's Parkinson Movement Program Featured in Annual Report

We are very excited to see the YMCA of Metro Atlanta's Parkinson Movement Program highlighted in their 2015 annual report. MDT Education Solutions provided all the training for the YMCA staff participating in this program and we are thrilled to see how impactful the program has been. You can view a copy of the annual report here. It features comments from Brian Doyle, a member of the Summit Family YMCA and a former Major League Baseball player. He explains how much the Parkinson's Movement Program has positively affected his life. We hope that your life has been positively impacted by our training as well! 

Madeleine Hackney receives 2015 Selma Jeanne Cohen Lecture Award

We are very proud to announce that one of our founders, Dr. Madeleine Hackney, was recently awarded the 2015 Selma Jeanne Cohen Lecture Award by the Fulbright Association Board of Directors, and the Selma Jeanne Cohen Selection Committee (SJCSC).  Her research focuses on the design and optimization of creative movement/dance-based therapies to improve mobility, cognition and quality of life in older individuals with movement disorders. She presented her research findings on November 13, 2015 at the World of Coca-Cola. The Selma Jeanne Cohen Fund for International Scholarship on Dance honors the pioneering and seminal contributions of preeminent dance historian Selma Jeanne Cohen.  The Fulbright Association created the fund with a generous gift from Dr. Cohen in 2000 to recognize the importance of her Fulbright exchange experience in Russia and to perpetuate her interests in dance as an international enterprise.

Aquatic Therapy for People With Parkinson's Disease

Several talented aquatic therapy instructors have completed our "Community Exercise for People with Parkinson's Disease" Course. We searched the literature on aquatic therapy for people with PD, and found a pilot study from 2011 that showed promising results. 11 individuals with Parkinson's disease were randomly assigned to a land-based therapy protocol or a water-based therapy protocol. All participants were in stage 2 or 3 according to the Hoehn and Yahr Scale. Both groups completed exercises that were matched in features. Many exercises were focused on improving postural instability, a common impairment for people with PD. The study found that participants who completed the aquatic therapy showed larger improvements in postural stability then those who exercised on land. Both groups showed improvement in their ability to reach forward without losing their balance. The article contains pictures and descriptions of some of the exercises used. You can access the full text of the article and view the exercises used by clicking here.  

Lynn Wark Featured by the Forsyth County News for Work With People with Parkinson's Disease

We are excited to share that Lynn Wark, a personal trainer with the Forsyth County Family YMCA, was recently interviewed by the Forsyth County News about her work with people with Parkinson's disease. Lynn completed the "Community Exercise for People with Parkinson's Disease" Course in November 2014. Since then, she has led a very successful PD-specific group exercise class in Forsyth County. We look forward to hearing many more great stories about Lynn and the people she works with. You can watch the interview and see her class in action at 

Dr. Madeleine Hackney Authoring Blog for PD Gladiators

MDT Education Solutions co-founder Dr. Madeleine Hackney is now authoring a monthly blog on the PD Gladiators website called "The Exercise Files: A Researcher's Perspective". Her first post details the benefits of adapted tango for people with Parkinson's disease, including improved balance, stride length, movement initiation and movement speed. She also plans to invite other researchers and experts to contribute to the blog. This is a great way to stay current on the latest research on exercise and PD! You can follow her blog at