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Qigong Improves Sleep Quality and Gait Performance in Parkinson's Disease
 
October 15, 2014 -
Parkinson's disease (PD) involves a variety of motor and non-motor symptoms, several of which, including gait abnormalities and sleep disorders, are generally not adequately managed with standard therapy. A recent study by University of Kansas Medical Center aimed to determine the impact of Qigong as a potential complementary therapy in the management of gait and sleep related symptoms in PD.

Seven subjects, aged from 57 to 75, with PD participated in a six-week Qigong exercise intervention. Pre- and post-intervention testing was performed to assess sleep quality, cognitive function, fatigue, quality of life, gait performance (stride time, stride length, double support time, and velocity) and gait variability (stride time and length variability).

Following Qigong, subjects showed improvement in some aspects of sleep quality. Fatigue remained unchanged. Gait function was improved by a significant reduction of stride time and a slight increase in stride length. Together these changes resulted in significant improvements to gait velocity. Additionally, time spent in double limb support was reduced following the intervention. Overall gait variability improved significantly, particularly in the reduction of stride time variability.

These results suggest that Qigong may provide benefit for gait performance and sleep quality in PD patients. However, larger, controlled studies are required to determine the immediate and long-term benefits of Qigong for PD sleep and gait problems as well as the impact on other aspects of the disease.

This study is published in the September 2014 issue of the International journal of neuroscience.

 

 


 
 

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