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Community Partners
Community Partners

From left: Randy Blakely, Ph.D., Beth Elgort, Nicole Baganz, Ph.D.

Bringing a Holistic Approach to Research and Treatment for Degenerative Diseases

By Chelsey Matheson

In the spring of 2023, Florida Atlantic’s Stiles-Nicholson Brain Institute and Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine announced a partnership with the Mind, Music, Movement Foundation for Neurological Disorders (M3F). M3F is a Palm Beach County-based nonprofit organization that supports integrative, therapeutic programming for individuals living with neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, aphasia and multiple sclerosis.

“Our mission is to continue to build a multidisciplinary approach to wellness for people living with a neurodegenerative disease that embraces the community at large,” said Beth Elgort, founder and CEO of M3F. “Having the affiliation with FAU, we hope to support a larger geographic area and introduce the research that supports the work that we do.”

M3F programs encourage participants to keep their bodies in motion through activities like dance, yoga and boxing, and to use their voices through song.

“The main thrust of our work is to have an outlet for not just the person living with the disease, but for the caregiver,” Elgort said. “We’re touching lives because not only do our clients benefit from hopefully delaying some of the physical progression of all these diseases, but we also help address their mental health through socialization in a nurturing environment.”

Florida Atlantic’s partnership with M3F includes community and research components. M3F clients are participating in studies underway at the Schmidt College of Medicine, and the Brain Institute hosts M3F dance and wellness classes.

“Having this relationship with FAU is magnificent, because we’re almost the live lab,” Elgort said. “We really want to provide the motivation and the research to help a family living with a neurodegenerative disease live well.”

Visit www.m3f.org to view the most current class schedules and locations.

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