This study is not built on just my own research. It is built on very broad research.
You have exercise. You're walking. You have music. And you have Parkinson's pathology. It turns out that Canadians are leaders in this field. The music aspect of the study I gained from the Montreal Neurological Institute. Dr. Zatorre's group has shown that music, especially with vocals, actually stimulates the motor pathways, because when you hear a singer sing a song, you visualize, not even consciously, the person's face and facial movements. I think this is the aspect of music we have found most effective. When the patient walks with these highly salient vocal songs, the person's motor circuitries are activated. There's a synergy between auditory stimulation and walking. They converge on these neural networks, causing long-term plasticity change.
What we have found out so far is that patients start forming a habit. Some patients have told me that if they don't walk, they feel that they've missed something. It's very fundamental. With Parkinson's there is this problem of forming new motor habits.
Second, Parkinson's disease is characterized by very specific deficits. People have the will to do something, but they can't transform that will into action. Dopamine is considered something like a lubricant. It helps you very smoothly make that transformation. After this walking, the patients tell that they can automatically increase their stride length, while they couldn't do it before.
Last, and I think most important, is what we heard from the other witnesses about non-motor symptoms, such as fear of falling, anxiety, and depression. These are the most important benefits patients will gain from this aspect. I gave you the example of the person who was afraid to step on the escalator. This patient is essentially symptom-free, so she doesn't need music any more. For twenty years she couldn't get on the escalator.