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An Italian Doctor’s chance discovery of the therapeutic effects of Irish Set Dancing in the treatment of Parkinson's disease will be the subject of an international Gathering event next month.
The event will tie in with the world renowned Feakle International Festival of Traditional Music in County Clare from August 5th-7th August 2013.
Dr Daniel Volpe who is the Director of Neurological Rehabilitation at St. Raffaele Arcangelo Hospital in Venice will present his research work confirming the benefits of set dancing in the rehabilitative therapy for people with Parkinson's disease.
The Conference will feature a series of lectures, workshops, set dancing, sean-nós dancing and a Céilí. Amongst the other confirmed speakers will be Professor Timothy Lynch, a Consultant Neurologist and Clinical Director of the Dublin Neurological Institute at the Mater University Hospital; Dr. Amanda Clifford, Lecturer in the University of Limerick (UL); and Joanne Shanahan, MSc Research Student and dance tutor at UL.
World renowned Irish traditional musicians Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill will provide the musical accompaniment for a demonstration of Irish Dancing with Parkinson’s disease patients from Italy and Ireland. Meanwhile, there will be a workshop of set dancing in Parkinson’s for set dancing tutors and people with the disease.
Commenting on the background to Dr. Volpe’s research, event spokesperson Pat Hayes said: “During one of his regular visits to County Clare to play with his traditional Irish music band, Dr Volpe watched as a man he recognised as suffering from Parkinson’s disease walked into the room. Dr Volpe later watched in astonishment as the man who earlier had struggled to walk, took part in the festivities and set danced without any difficulty.”
Mr. Hayes, who also is an Elected Member of Clare County Council, added: “Afterwards, Dr Volpe, who works in developing physiotherapy for people with Parkinson’s disease, took it upon himself to learn a bit more about the reel step. He conducted a study that found Irish dancing does, indeed, have positive effects for those suffering from Parkinson’s disease.”
“There will be worldwide interest in this event given the links Dr Volpe has with the Physiotherapy Departments of two major universities in Ireland and Australia. We are delighted to be hosting this unique event and have no doubt that it will focus in on the value of Irish music and dance,” concluded Cllr. Hayes.
The upcoming event is one of more than 170 Gathering events taking place throughout Clare during 2013.
Other events taking place during the remainder of the year include The Doonbeg Gathering (22-29 Jul), and the South East Clare Agricultural Show in Bridgetown (28 Jul), St. Patrick's Comprehensive 30 Year School Reunion in Shannon (10 Aug), Tulla Week Of Welcomes (17-25 Aug), Doolin Irish Craft Beer & Food Festival and Dan Furey Weekend in Labasheeda (23 – 25 Aug), Clare New York Association 125th Anniversary in Ennis (26-29th Aug), Spanish Point Airfield 'Fly In' (31 Aug - 1 Sep), Clare Shout Festival, Kilkishen (13 – 15 Sep), Ennis Fringe Festival (20-22nd Sep), Mountshannon Trad Festival (27-29 Sep) and the Killaloe Ballina 2014 Commemoration Gathering (22 Oct), Centenary of Conradh na Gaeilge, Inis (18 – 24 Nov).
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