Article

The effect of Tai Chi exercise on gait initiation and gait performance in persons with Parkinson's disease.

Department of Applied Physiology & Kinesiology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA.
Parkinsonism & Related Disorders (Impact Factor: 4.13). 07/2013; DOI: 10.1016/j.parkreldis.2013.06.007
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Gait dysfunction and postural instability are two debilitating symptoms in persons with Parkinson's disease (PD). Tai Chi exercise has recently gained attention as an attractive intervention for persons with PD because of its known potential to reduce falls and improve postural control, walking abilities, and safety at a low cost. The purpose of this report is to investigate the effect of Tai Chi exercise on dynamic postural control during gait initiation and gait performance in persons with idiopathic PD, and to determine whether these benefits could be replicated in two different environments, as complementary projects. In these two separate projects, a total of 45 participants with PD were randomly assigned to either a Tai Chi group or a control group. The Tai Chi groups in both projects completed a 16-week Tai Chi exercise session, while the control groups consisted of either a placebo (i.e., Qi-Gong) or non-exercise group. Tai Chi did not significantly improve Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale Part III score, selected gait initiation parameters or gait performance in either project. Combined results from both projects suggest that 16 weeks of class-based Tai Chi were ineffective in improving either gait initiation, gait performance, or reducing parkinsonian disability in this subset of persons with PD. Thus the use of short-term Tai Chi exercise should require further study before being considered a valuable therapeutic intervention for these domains in PD.

1 Bookmark
 · 
191 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: [Purpose] The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of Tai Chi (TC)-based exercise on dynamic postural control during obstacle negotiation by subjects with mild or moderate Parkinson's disease (PD). [Subjects] Twelve subjects (mean age, 65.3±6.1 years) diagnosed with idiopathic PD were enrolled for this study. [Methods] All the subjects were tested a week before and 12 weeks after the initiation of the TC exercise. In the test, they were instructed to negotiate an obstacle from the position of quiet stance at a normal speed. They were trained with TC exercise that emphasized multidirectional shift in weight bearing from bilateral to unilateral support, challenging the postural stability, three times per week for 12 weeks. Center of pressure (COP) trajectory variables before and after TC exercise were measured using two force plates. [Results] A comparison of the results between pre- and post-intervention showed a statistically significant improvement in anteroposterior and mediolateral displacement of COP. [Conclusion] Twelve weeks of TC exercise may be an effective and safe form of stand-alone behavioral intervention for improving the dynamic postural stability of patients with PD.
    Journal of Physical Therapy Science 07/2014; 26(7):1025-30. · 0.20 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: No conventional treatment has been convincingly demonstrated to slow or stop the progression of Parkinson's disease (PD). Dopaminergic therapy is the gold standard for managing the motor disability associated with PD, but it falls short of managing all of the aspects of the disease that contribute to quality of life. Perhaps for this reason, an increasing number of patients are searching for a more holistic approach to healthcare. This is not to say that they are abandoning the standard and effective symptomatic therapies for PD, but rather are complementing them with healthy living, mind-body practices, and natural products that empower patients to be active participants in their healthcare and widen the net under which disease modification might one day be achieved. Despite high rates of utilization of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practices, data on efficacy is generally limited, restricting physicians in providing guidance to interested patients. Exercise is now well-established as integral in the management of PD, but mind-body interventions such as Tai Chi that incorporate relaxation and mindfulness with physical activity should be routinely encouraged as well. While no comment can be made about neuroplastic or disease-modifying effects of mind-body interventions, patients should be encouraged to be as active as possible and engage with others in enjoyable and challenging activities such as dance, music therapy, and yoga. Many PD patients also choose to try herbs, vitamins, and neutraceuticals as part of a healthy lifestyle, with the added expectation that these products may lower free radical damage and protect them against further cell death. Evidence for neuroprotection is limited, but patients can be encouraged to maintain a healthy diet rich in "high-power," low-inflammatory foods, while at the same time receiving education that many promising natural products have produced disappointing results in clinical trials. It is vital that the science of holistic medicine reaches a point where all neutraceuticals are investigated with the same rigor as conventional drugs. A number of agents discussed here that have a proposed role in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases (and PD in particular), including cannabis, mucuna pruriens, and Chinese herbals, deserve more attention from basic science researchers and clinical investigators before they can be either safely utilized or dismissed.
    Current Treatment Options in Neurology 10/2014; 16(10):314. · 2.18 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The prevalence of Parkinson's disease (PD) appears to be lower in Asia compared to the Western world. It is unclear if this is related to the ubiquitous use of traditional medicine in Eastern healthcare, but the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) modalities in countries like Korea may be as high as 76%. Among patients with PD, herbal medicines, health supplement foods, and acupuncture are interventions which are increasingly used throughout the world. Countries like Korea, China, India, and Japan have long embraced and incorporated traditional medicine into modern management of conditions such as PD, but research into various CAM modalities remains in its infancy limiting evidence-based recommendations for many treatments. We reviewed the literature on CAM treatments for PD, focusing on mind-body interventions and natural products. Based on evidence limited to randomized-controlled trials we found that mind-body interventions are generally effective forms of physical activity that are likely to foster good adherence and may reduce disability associated with PD. Based on the current data, modalities like Tai Chi and dance are safe and beneficial in PD, but better studies are needed to assess the effects of other frequently used modalities such as yoga and acupuncture. Furthermore, despite centuries of experience using medicinal herbs and plants in Eastern countries, and despite substantial preclinical data on the beneficial effects of nutritional antioxidants as neuroprotective agents in PD, there is insufficient clinical evidence that any vitamin, food additive, or supplement, can improve motor function or delay disease progression in PD.
    Journal of movement disorders. 10/2014; 7(2):57-66.

Full-text

Download
29 Downloads
Available from
May 21, 2014