A German study from 2002 investigated the effects of dance on Alzheimer's and depression. Five patients with moderate Alzheimer's and five depression patients of the same age participated in a 12-day dance course. At the end of the study, Alzheimer's patients showed significant improvements in learning, and the authors comment on its potential as a future Alzheimer's therapy.
Dance could be an especially effective treatment for Alzheimer's patients with mobility problems. A case study published in 2013 detailed the treatment of an 84-year-old woman with Alzheimer's who had problems with movement and balance. Physical therapists had her participate in salsa dance sessions twice a week for 12 weeks. At the end of this period, her therapists noted that she "showed improvements in range of motion, strength, balance, functional mobility, gait distance, and speed." The patient only experienced one fall during the course of treatment, and in a follow-up six months later, her caretaker reported no subsequent falls.