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Tai Chi and Qigong for Motor and Non-motor Function in Parkinson's Disease Patients

June 26, 2017 -
Several Korean scientists teamed up with Harvard Medical School to systematically evaluate and quantify the effects of Tai Chi/Qigong (TCQ) on motor (UPDRS III, balance, falls, Timed-Up-and-Go, and 6-Minute Walk) and non-motor (depression and cognition) function, and quality of life (QOL) in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD).

A systematic search in 7 electronic databases targeted clinical studies evaluating TCQ for individuals with PD published through August 2016. Meta-analysis was used to estimate effect sizes and publication bias for randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Methodological bias in RCTs was assessed by two raters.

The search identified 21 studies, 15 of which were RCTs with a total of 735 subjects. For RCTs, comparison groups included no treatment and active interventions. Duration of TCQ ranged from 2 to 6 months. Methodological bias was low in 6 studies, moderate in 7, and high in 2. Fixed-effect models showed that TCQ was associated with significant improvement on most motor outcomes, Timed-Up-and-Go, falls, as well as depression and QOL, but not cognition.

The researchers concluded that evidence to date supports a potential benefit of TCQ for improving motor function, depression and QOL for individuals with PD, and validates the need for additional large-scale trials. Their findings are published by the journal Parkinsonism & related disorders in May of 2017.




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