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ORIGINAL ARTICLE  EPIDEMIOLOGY AND CLINICAL MEDICINE 

The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2020 February;60(2):282-8

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.19.10104-1

Copyright © 2019 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Effect of simplified Tai Chi exercise on relieving symptoms of patients with mild to moderate Parkinson’s disease

Mingjin ZHU 1, 2, Yonghua ZHANG 2, 3, Jiafei PAN 1, 4, Changyong FU 5, Yaqun WANG 1

1 Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Tongde Hospital of Zhejiang Province, Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, Hanghzou, China; 2 The Fourth School of Medicine, Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, Hanghzou, China; 3 Hanghzou Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, Hanghzou, China; 4 The First School of Medicine, Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, Hanghzou, China; 5 Department of Neurology, Tongde Hospital of Zhejiang Province, Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, Hanghzou, China



BACKGROUND: Tai Chi, a kind of physical exercise, may act as a non-pharmacologic approach to reducing the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. This study was conducted to investigate the effect of simplified Tai Chi training plus routine exercise on motor and non-motor symptoms in patients with mild to moderate Parkinson’s disease in comparison with routine exercise regimen alone.
METHODS: Forty-one outpatients and inpatients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) were randomized into Tai Chi group (N.=19) and routine exercise group as control group (N.=22) for 12 weeks. The Tai Chi group included both Tai Chi traning and routine exercise. Motor and non-motor functions were assessed. Motor function was evaluated by Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale part III (UPDRS-III) and Berg Balance Scale (BBS). The non-motor symptoms like quality of life, sleep quality, depression and anxiety state, cognitive function were assessed by Parkinson’s Disease Questionnaire-39 (PDQ-39), Parkinson’s Disease Sleep Scale (PDSS), Hamilton Depression Scale (HAMD), Hamilton Anxiety Scale (HAMA), Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MOCA) respectively.
RESULTS: After 12 weeks of intervention, participants in both Tai Chi and routine exercise groups gained effects in UPDRS-III, BBS, PDQ-39, PDSS and HAMD compared to the baseline. However, significant improvements between Tai Chi group and routine exercise group were only found in PDSS (P=0.029) and MoCA (P=0.024).
CONCLUSIONS: Tai Chi training plus routine exercise might therefore be an ideal alternative non-pharmacological approach for the motor and non-motor symptoms of PD patients, and especially be more useful for the improvement of sleep quality and cognitive function in Parkinson’s disease compared with routine exercise regimen alone.


KEY WORDS: Parkinson disease; Tai Ji; Exercise; Therapeutics

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