SINGING is the best medicine for Parkinson’s disease sufferers in Oxford who have set up a new music group to help alleviate their symptoms.

Research shows that singing can have beneficial effects on the condition because it produces the chemical dopamine, which Parkinson’s disease sufferers lack.

The group of up to 20 singers, aged between 50 and 75, meet at the Women’s Institute hall in North Hinksey Lane, Botley, every fortnight to belt out a capella classics such as Down by the Riverside.

Janet Stansfeld – pictured second from left – who led the singers, said: “Analysis of results from singing groups nationally and internationally showed that group singing has particular benefits for people with Parkinson’s.”

Jem Appleton, chairman of the Botley branch of Parkinson UK, said: “It helps in the short term.

“My wife says I am much more cheerful afterwards. ”

Recent research has shown that the more pleasurable a song is, the more dopamine is released.

The sessions cost £3 per person – to find out more contact Ms Stansfeld on 01865 762200.

Picture: OX51609 Antony Moore