INDAK: Improving Neurocognition through Dance and Kinesthetics


Technology Generator
Institute of Neurosciences,
St. Luke’s Medical Center – Quezon City
Project lead: Dr. Jacqueline C.Dominguez

The Problem
Currently, there is no existing intervention or treatment effective enough to treat dementia, a condition that deteriorates one’s cognitive function. This explains why it is estimated that dementia patients will double every 20 years, from 43.8 million in 2016, to 100 million in 2050. In the Philippines, the average annual cost of care for patients with Dementia is Php 195,696.44, which is too much for an average working-class Filipino.

One of the conditions which may lead to dementia is Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), or a decline in one’s memory. Hence, intervention is best done before MCI progresses. This may be done using drug-based and non-pharmacological approaches but the latter is less expensive and does not pose adverse effects to patients. The problem, however, is non-pharmacological approaches are still costly, and difficult to implement in communities.

The Solution
Recent studies have shown that there is a link between healthy cognition and physical exercise. With this, an interventive dance program called “INDAK: Improving Neurocognition through Dance and Kinesthetics” was developed which embraces the ability of dance, specifically ballroom dancing, to stimulate cognition, and physical and social activity.

It involves different forms of ballroom dances including Reggae, Cha-Cha, Samba, Merengue, Batcha, Swing, Tango, and Salsa. The dances also increase complexity and intensity throughout each module which is ideal to stimulate cognitive and intellectual activity. The 48-week program is conducted by a trained dance instructor where each session is done twice a week.

Technology Development Stage
The program is being offered by the Institute for Dementia Care Asia. St. Luke’s Medical Center also refers their patients to enroll in this program. About 60 senior citizens have already graduated from the program which was implemented at Barangay UP Diliman, Claret Parish, and Marikina Heights in 2018 with the support of HI-Eisai Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Currently, INDAK is being implemented in four barangays in Quezon City—Krus na Ligas, UP Campus, San Martin de Porres, and Obrero. The local government unit is actively supporting the cause.

Dr. Jacqueline C. Dominguez
Institute of Neurosciences
St. Luke’s Medical Center – Quezon City
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