Mindfulness is Associated with Lower Stress and Improved Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms

Mindfulness is Associated with Lower Stress and Improved Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“By training your mind to be present, you can feel the benefits in your everyday life. It can be particularly helpful when facing challenges that Parkinson’s brings.” – Parkinson’s UK

 

Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is an incurable progressive degenerative disease of the central nervous system. The condition is caused by the death of nerve cells in the brain that produce the neurotransmitter dopamine. There are around seven million people worldwide and one million people in the U.S. living with PD and about 60,000 people are diagnosed with PD every year. PD is associated with aging as the vast majority of patients are diagnosed after age 50. In fact, it has been speculated that everyone would eventually develop PD if they lived long enough.

 

Its physical symptoms include resting tremor, slow movements, muscle rigidity, problems with posture and balance, loss of automatic movements, and slurring of speech. PD itself is not fatal but is often associated with related complications which can reduce life expectancy, such as falls, choking, and cardiovascular problems. PD also has psychological effects, especially cognitive decline, anxiety, and depression. Balance is a particular problem as it effects mobility and increases the likelihood of falls, restricting activity and reducing quality of life.

 

There are no cures for Parkinson’s Disease (PD) or even treatments to slow its progression. There are only treatments that can produce symptomatic relief. So, there is a need to discover new and different treatments. Mindfulness training has been found to improve the psychological symptoms and the quality of life with PD patients.  If mindfulness is indeed a help to PD patients, then the relationship between mindfulness and PD symptoms should be present in everyday, real world, patients.

 

In today’s Research News article “Stress and mindfulness in Parkinson’s disease – a survey in 5000 patients.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7813889/ ) van der Heide and colleagues sent online surveys to Parkinson’s Disease (PD) patients and normal control participants. The surveys contained measures of mindfulness, self-compassion, perceived stress, rumination, Parkinson’s anxiety, and additional questions about PD symptoms, stress, and other factors associated with the disease.

 

They found that the Parkinson’s Disease (PD) patients in comparison to controls had significantly lower levels of mindfulness and significantly higher levels stress, and depression. They also found that the higher the levels of stress that the PD patients reported the lower the levels of mindfulness, self-compassion and quality of life and the higher the levels of rumination and disease severity. When the patients were asked what strategies, they used to reduce stress they reported that they used exercise and mindfulness most often. The patients reported that mindfulness improved all of their symptoms, including tremor, gait, slowness of movement, dyskinesia, anxiety, depression, and sleeping problems. In addition, the more the patients used mindfulness, the better their symptoms.

 

These are interesting but correlational findings, so causation cannot be determined. But previous studies have shown the mindfulness training reduces stress and improves the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease (PD). So, the present associations are probably due to causal connections between mindfulness, stress, and PD symptoms. It appears that stress exacerbates PD symptoms and mindfulness reduces stress and PD symptoms. This further suggests that mindfulness practices should be taught to PD patients. This potentially would improve their well-being and reduce their suffering.

 

So, mindfulness is associated with lower stress and improved Parkinson’s Disease symptoms.

 

well-structured mindfulness programs have been proven to be quite effective in areas that directly affect Parkinson’s, such as reducing stress levels, combating depression, and refining body image.” – Matt Zepelin

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

van der Heide, A., Speckens, A., Meinders, M. J., Rosenthal, L. S., Bloem, B. R., & Helmich, R. C. (2021). Stress and mindfulness in Parkinson’s disease – a survey in 5000 patients. NPJ Parkinson’s disease, 7(1), 7. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41531-020-00152-9

 

Abstract

Many Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients notice that motor symptoms worsen during stress, and experience stress-related neuropsychiatric symptoms such as anxiety and depression. Here we investigated which personal and disease characteristics are associated with perceived stress in PD, which PD symptoms are sensitive to stress, and we assessed self-reported benefits of stress-reducing strategies such as mindfulness. We sent an online survey to the Fox Insight cohort (n = 28,385 PD patients, n = 11,413 healthy controls). The survey included specific questions about the influence of stress on PD symptoms, use of stress-reducing strategies, and several validated scales measuring perceived stress, anxiety, dispositional mindfulness, rumination, and self-compassion. We received completed surveys from 5000 PD patients and 1292 controls. Patients perceived more stress than controls. Among patients, stress was correlated with increased rumination (R = 0.65), lower quality of life (R = −0.56), lower self-compassion (R = −0.65), and lower dispositional mindfulness (R = −0.48). Furthermore, patients indicated that stress significantly worsened both motor symptoms – especially tremor – and non-motor symptoms. Physical exercise was most frequently used to reduce stress (83.1%). Mindfulness was practiced by 38.7% of PD respondents, who noticed improvement in both motor and non-motor symptoms. Among non-users, 43.4% were interested in gaining mindfulness skills. We conclude that PD patients experience greater levels of stress than controls, and that stress worsens both motor and non-motor symptoms. Mindfulness may improve PD symptom severity, with the strongest effects on anxiety and depressed mood. These findings justify further controlled studies to establish the merits of mindfulness and other stress-alleviating interventions.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7813889/

Movement-Based Therapies are Affective for Rehabilitation from Disease

Movement-Based Therapies are Affective for Rehabilitation from Disease

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

Tai chi is often described as “meditation in motion,” but it might well be called “medication in motion.” There is growing evidence that this mind-body practice, which originated in China as a martial art, has value in treating or preventing many health problems.” – Havard Health

 

Mindful movement practices such as yoga and Tai Chi and Qigong have been used for centuries to improve the physical and mental health and well-being of practitioners. But only recently has the effects of these practices come under scientific scrutiny. This research has been accumulating. So, it makes sense to pause and examine what has been learned about the effectiveness of these practice for rehabilitation from disease.

 

In today’s Research News article “Movement-Based Therapies in Rehabilitation.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7476461/ ) Phuphanich and colleagues review and summarize the published research studies of the effects of mindful movement practices on rehabilitation from disease.

 

They report that published research has found that yoga practice reduces fatigue, sleep disturbances, depression, and anxiety and improves the immune system in cancer patients. Yoga has been found to be an effective treatment for mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Yoga has been found to reduce pain levels, fear avoidance, stress, and sleep disturbance and increases self-efficacy and quality of life in chronic pain patients. Yoga has been found to improve the symptoms of traumatic brain injury, stroke, spinal cord injury, Parkinson disease, dementia, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, and neuropathies. In addition, yoga has been found to improve systolic and diastolic blood pressures, heart rate, respiratory rate, waist circumference, waist/hip ratio, cholesterol, triglycerides, hemoglobin A1c, and insulin resistance in cardiopulmonary diseases.

 

They report that the published research has found that Tai Chi and Qigong practices reduce falls in the elderly. Tai Chi and Qigong has been found to reduce pain levels and increase quality of life in chronic pain patients. In addition, there is evidence that Tai Chi and Qigong practices improves depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, sleep disturbance, schizophrenia, rheumatoid arthritis, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, and immune disorders.

 

These are remarkable findings. The range of disorders that are positively affected by yoga, Tai Chi, and Qigong practices is breathtaking. These practices are also safe and can be widely implemented at relatively low cost and can be performed alone or in groups and at home or in a therapeutic setting. This suggests that these practices should be routinely implemented for rehabilitation from disease.

 

So,  movement-based therapies are affective for rehabilitation from disease.

 

Being mindful through any physical activity can not only improve performance in the activity such as yoga, tennis, swimming, etc, but it can also increase flexibility, confidence in movement and generate a sense of body and mind connection that has the potential for improving your overall sense of well-being.“- Anupama Kommu

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Phuphanich, M. E., Droessler, J., Altman, L., & Eapen, B. C. (2020). Movement-Based Therapies in Rehabilitation. Physical medicine and rehabilitation clinics of North America, 31(4), 577–591. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pmr.2020.07.002

 

Abstract

Movement therapy refers to a broad range of Eastern and Western mindful movement-based practices used to treat the mind, body, and spirit concurrently. Forms of movement practice are universal across human culture and exist in ancient history. Research demonstrates forms of movement therapy, such as dance, existed in the common ancestor shared by humans and chimpanzees, approximately 6 million years ago. Movement-based therapies innately promote health and wellness by encouraging proactive participation in one’s own health, creating community support and accountability, and so building a foundation for successful, permanent, positive change.

Key Points – Movement-based therapies

  • Decrease fear avoidance and empower individuals to take a proactive role in their own health and wellness.
  • Can benefit patients of any ability; practices are customizable to the individual’s needs and health.
  • Are safe, cost-effective, and potent adjunct treatments used to supplement (not replace) standard care.
  • Deliver patient-centered, integrative care that accounts for the physical, psychological, social, and spiritual aspects of health and illness.
  • Have diverse, evidence-based benefits, including reduction in pain, stress, and debility, and improvements in range of motion, strength, balance, coordination, cardiovascular health, physical fitness, mood, and cognition.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7476461/

 

Improve Health and Treat Illness with Qigong

Improve Health and Treat Illness with Qigong

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

in order to do qigong … we have to be pretend to be empty, so the first thing to empty is the mind, so we try not to think of anything and only listen to our breathing, relax all the strength and relax the mind, so it’s some kind of meditation.” – Joe Lok

 

Tai Chi and Qigong are ancient mindfulness practices involving slow prescribed movements. They are gentle and completely safe, can be used with the elderly and sickly, are inexpensive to administer, can be performed in groups or alone, at home or in a facility or even public park, and can be quickly learned. In addition, they can also be practiced in social groups without professional supervision. This can make it fun, improving the likelihood of long-term engagement in the practice.

 

Tai Chi and Qigong are both mindfulness practices and exercises. They have been shown to be beneficial to the health and well-being of individuals of a variety of ages, but particularly the elderly. They also improve the symptoms of a variety of diseases. The studies of the benefits for health of Tai Chi and Qigong are accumulating and so it makes sense to take a moment to summarize what has been learned.

 

In today’s Research News article “Benefits of Qigong as an integrative and complementary practice for health: a systematic review.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7365612/) Toneti and colleagues review and summarize the published research studies of the benefits for health of Qigong practice. They identified 28 published clinical trials.

 

They report that the published research studies found that Qigong practice significantly promotes health and is effective in the prevention and rehabilitation of diseases in adults and the elderly. The evidence supports the effectiveness of Qigong practice in treating the symptoms of cancer, fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s disease, cardiovascular disease, and COPD. It has also been shown to be effective in reducing chronic pain including low back pain, cervical pain, and osteoarthritis pain. In addition, it has been shown to be effective in reducing perceived stress, burnout, fatigue, social isolation, and depression.

 

Hence, the available published research suggests that Qigong practice is effective in promoting physical and psychological health in healthy people and people with diseases at a variety of ages including the elderly. These are impressive benefits for a gentle and safe practice that can be rolled out to a wide audience at low cost. This suggests that people should be encouraged to participate in Qigong practice to promote their health and well-being.

 

So, improve health and treat illness with Qigong.

 

Qi gong and tai chi are relaxing ways to improve your flexibility and balance. Both are great ways to stay active and vital. The gentle, flowing movements are easy on the joints.” – Jodi Helmer

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Toneti, B. F., Barbosa, R., Mano, L. Y., Sawada, L. O., Oliveira, I. G., & Sawada, N. O. (2020). Benefits of Qigong as an integrative and complementary practice for health: a systematic review. Revista latino-americana de enfermagem, 28, e3317. https://doi.org/10.1590/1518-8345.3718.3317

 

Abstract

Objective:

to analyze, in the literature, evidence about the benefits of the integrative and complementary practice of Qigong with regard to the health of adults and the elderly.

Method:

a systematic review by searching for studies in the PubMed, CINAHL, LILACS, EMBASE and Cochrane Library databases. Randomized and non-randomized clinical trials were included; in Portuguese, English and Spanish; from 2008 to 2018. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses strategy was adopted, as well as the recommendation of the Cochrane Collaboration for assessing the risk of bias in the clinical trials analyzed.

Results:

28 studies were selected that indicated the benefit of the practice to the target audience, which can be used for numerous health conditions, such as: cancer; fibromyalgia; Parkinson’s disease; Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease; Burnout; stress; social isolation; chronic low back pain; cervical pain; buzz; osteoarthritis; fatigue; depression; and cardiovascular diseases. However, there was a great risk of bias in terms of the blinding of the research studies.

Conclusion:

the practice of Qigong produces positive results on health, mainly in the medium and long term. This study contributes to the advancement in the use of integrative and complementary practices in nursing, since it brings together the scientific production in the area from the best research results available.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7365612/

 

Improve Balance in Parkinson’s Disease with Tai Chi and Yoga

Improve Balance in Parkinson’s Disease with Tai Chi and Yoga

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

In addition to easing balance problems, and possibly other symptoms, tai chi can help ease stress and anxiety and strengthen all parts of the body, with few if any harmful side effects. . . with Parkinson’s disease.” – Peter Wayne

 

Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is an incurable progressive degenerative disease of the central nervous system. The condition is caused by the death of nerve cells in the brain that produce the neurotransmitter dopamine. There are around seven million people worldwide and one million people in the U.S. living with PD and about 60,000 people are diagnosed with PD every year. PD is associated with aging as the vast majority of patients are diagnosed after age 50. In fact, it has been speculated that everyone would eventually develop PD if they lived long enough.

 

Its physical symptoms include resting tremor, slow movements, muscle rigidity, problems with posture and balance, loss of automatic movements, and slurring of speech. PD itself is not fatal but is often associated with related complications which can reduce life expectancy, such as falls, choking, and cardiovascular problems. PD also has psychological effects, especially cognitive decline, anxiety, and depression. Balance is a particular problem as it effects mobility and increases the likelihood of falls, restricting activity and reducing quality of life.

 

There are no cures for Parkinson’s Disease (PD) or even treatments to slow its progression. There are only treatments that can produce symptomatic relief. So, there is a need to discover new and different treatments. Mindfulness training has been found to improve the psychological symptoms and the quality of life with PD patients.  In addition, Tai Chi and yoga practices have been shown to improve the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. Hence, mind-body practices may be excellent treatments for the symptoms of PD. It is important to discover which of various exercises works best to improve balance and mobility in patients with PD.

 

In today’s Research News article “Effect of home-based Tai Chi, Yoga or conventional balance exercise on functional balance and mobility among persons with idiopathic Parkinson’s disease: An experimental study.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7136531/), Khuzema and colleagues recruited adult patients with Parkinson’s Disease and randomly assigned them to receive 5 days per week for 8 weeks for 30-40 minutes of either home based Tai Chi exercise, yoga exercise, or balance exercise training. They were measured before and after training for balance and mobility with a timed up and go test and a 10-minute walking test.

 

They found that all three exercise programs produced significant improvements in all measures. Balance increased significantly by 26.414%, 8.193% and 14.339%, Timed up and go time decreased by 22.695%, 7.187% and 8.902%, and 10-m Walk Time decreased by 24.469%, 5.914% and 8.986% in Tai Chi, yoga and balance exercise groups, respectively. Although, on average, Tai Chi exercise produced superior results on all measures, the study was too small (9 patients per group) to determine significant group differences. These results, however, support conducting a large randomized controlled trial in the future.

 

Tai Chi is an ancient mindfulness practice that involves slow prescribed movements. It is gentle and completely safe, can be used with the elderly and sickly, are inexpensive to administer, can be performed in groups or alone, at home or in a facility or even public park, and can be quickly learned. In addition, it can be practiced in social groups without professional supervision. This can make it fun, improving the likelihood of long-term engagement in the practice. Hence Tai Chi training should be recommended to improve balance and mobility in patients with Parkinson’s Disease.

 

So, improve balance in Parkinson’s Disease with Tai Chi and Yoga.

 

Benefits of Tai Chi and Yoga for those with Parkinson’s Disease:

  1. Promotes conscious awareness of movement and actions.
  2. Increases awareness of proper body alignment/posture
  3. Improves balance with reduced fall risk
  4. Enhances flexibility
  5. Affords a greater sense of well-being
  6. Offers relaxation which can help to lessen Parkinson’s symptoms (tremor, rigidity) or manage medication side effects such as dyskinesia
  7. Improves breath support and control
  8. Helps to build healthy bones through weight-bearing activities
  9. Increases strength, especially in core muscles” – National Parkinson’s Foundation

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Khuzema, A., Brammatha, A., & Arul Selvan, V. (2020). Effect of home-based Tai Chi, Yoga or conventional balance exercise on functional balance and mobility among persons with idiopathic Parkinson’s disease: An experimental study. Hong Kong physiotherapy journal : official publication of the Hong Kong Physiotherapy Association Limited = Wu li chih liao, 40(1), 39–49. https://doi.org/10.1142/S1013702520500055

 

Abstract

Background:

Individuals with Parkinson’s disease (PD) invariably experience functional decline in a number of motor and non-motor domains affecting posture, balance and gait. Numerous clinical studies have examined effects of various types of exercise on motor and non-motor problems. But still much gap remains in our understanding of various therapies and their effect on delaying or slowing the dopamine neuron degeneration. Recently, Tai Chi and Yoga both have gained popularity as complementary therapies, since both have components for mind and body control.

Objective:

The aim of this study was to determine whether eight weeks of home-based Tai Chi or Yoga was more effective than regular balance exercises on functional balance and mobility.

Methods:

Twenty-seven individuals with Idiopathic PD (Modified Hoehn and Yahr stages 2.5–3) were randomly assigned to either Tai Chi, Yoga or Conventional exercise group. All the participants were evaluated for Functional Balance and Mobility using Berg Balance Scale, Timed 10 m Walk test and Timed Up and Go test before and after eight weeks of training.

Results:

The results were analyzed using two-way mixed ANOVA which showed that there was a significant main effect for time as F (1, 24) =74.18, p=0.000, ηp2=0.76 for overall balance in Berg Balance Scale. There was also significant main effect of time on mobility overall as F(1, 24) =77.78, p=0.000, ηp2=0.76 in Timed up and Go test and F(1, 24) =48.24, p=0.000, ηp2=0.67 for 10 m Walk test. There was a significant interaction effect for time×group with F(2, 24) =8.67, p=0.001, ηp2=0.420 for balance. With respect to mobility, the values F(2, 24) =5.92, p=0.008, ηp2=0.330 in Timed Up and Go test and F(2, 24) =10.40, p=0.001, ηp2=0.464 in 10 m Walk test showed a significant interaction. But there was no significant main effect between the groups for both balance and mobility.

Conclusion:

The findings of this study suggest that Tai Chi as well as Yoga are well adhered and are attractive options for a home-based setting. As any form of physical activity is considered beneficial for individuals with PD either Tai Chi, Yoga or conventional balance exercises could be used as therapeutic intervention to optimize balance and mobility. Further studies are necessary to understand the mind–body benefits of Tai Chi and Yoga either as multicomponent physical activities or as individual therapies in various stages of PD.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7136531/

 

Improve the Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease with Mind-Body Practices

Improve the Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease with Mind-Body Practices

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

The mind-body connection recognizes that emotional, mental, and behavioral factors can directly affect our health, and mind-body techniques can improve quality of life and may help reduce symptoms of disease.” – Emily Downward

 

Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is an incurable progressive degenerative disease of the central nervous system. The condition is caused by the death of nerve cells in the brain that produce the neurotransmitter dopamine. There are around seven million people worldwide and one million people in the U.S. living with PD and about 60,000 people are diagnosed with PD every year. PD is associated with aging as the vast majority of patients are diagnosed after age 50. In fact, it has been speculated that everyone would eventually develop PD if they lived long enough.

 

Its physical symptoms include resting tremor, slow movements, muscle rigidity, problems with posture and balance, loss of automatic movements, and slurring of speech. PD itself is not fatal but is often associated with related complications which can reduce life expectancy, such as falls, choking, and cardiovascular problems. Parkinson’s Disease (PD) also has psychological effects, especially cognitive decline, anxiety, and depression. All of these symptoms result in a marked reduction in the quality of life.

 

There are no cures for Parkinson’s Disease or even treatments to slow its progression. There are only treatments that can produce symptomatic relief. So, there is a need to discover new and different treatments. Mindfulness training has been found to improve the psychological symptoms and the quality of life with PD patients.  In addition, Tai Chi practice has been shown to improve the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. Hence, mind-body practices may be excellent treatments for the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease.

 

In today’s Research News article “The Impact of Mind-body Exercises on Motor Function, Depressive Symptoms, and Quality of Life in Parkinson’s Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6981975/), Jin and colleagues review, summarize, and perform a meta-analysis of the effectiveness of mind-body practices for the relief of the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. They selected randomized controlled trials with Tai Chi, Qigong and Yoga practices for patients with Parkinson’s Disease over 40 years of age. They identified 22 studies with a total of 1199 participants, 18 of which employed Tai Chi and Qigong practices and 4 employed Yoga practice.

 

They report that the studies found that the mind-body practices produced significant improvements in overall Parkinson’s Disease motor function, walking ability, balance, depression, and quality of life. Hence, the published research studies demonstrate that mind-body practices significantly improve the physical and psychological symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease.

 

Tai Chi and Qigong practices have been demonstrated in prior research to improve balance, walking ability, depression, and quality of life in a variety of healthy and sick people. In addition yoga practice has been demonstrated to improve balance, walking ability, depression and quality of life in various populations. The present study extends these findings to patients with Parkinson’s Disease. These practices appear to be a safe and effective treatment to relieve the symptoms and suffering of patients with Parkinson’s Disease.

 

So, improve the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease with mind-body practices.

 

Mindfulness-based interventions have the ability to reprogram brain conditioning and alter the ways in which we respond to the world. Parkinson’s patients can benefit immensely from this method as a means of decreasing stress and anxiety while slowly increasing quality of life.” – Alana Kessler

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Jin, X., Wang, L., Liu, S., Zhu, L., Loprinzi, P. D., & Fan, X. (2019). The Impact of Mind-body Exercises on Motor Function, Depressive Symptoms, and Quality of Life in Parkinson’s Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. International journal of environmental research and public health, 17(1), 31. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17010031

 

Abstract

Purpose: To systematically evaluate the effects of mind-body exercises (Tai Chi, Yoga, and Health Qigong) on motor function (UPDRS, Timed-Up-and-Go, Balance), depressive symptoms, and quality of life (QoL) of Parkinson’s patients (PD). Methods: Through computer system search and manual retrieval, PubMed, Web of Science, The Cochrane Library, CNKI, Wanfang Database, and CQVIP were used. Articles were retrieved up to the published date of June 30, 2019. Following the Cochrane Collaboration System Evaluation Manual (version 5.1.0), two researchers independently evaluated the quality and bias risk of each article, including 22 evaluated articles. The Pedro quality score of 6 points or more was found for 86% (19/22) of these studies, of which 21 were randomized controlled trials with a total of 1199 subjects; and the trial intervention time ranged from 4 to 24 weeks. Interventions in the control group included no-intervention controls, placebo, waiting-lists, routine care, and non-sports controls. Meta-analysis was performed on the literature using RevMan 5.3 statistical software, and heterogeneity analysis was performed using Stata 14.0 software. Results: (1) Mind-body exercises significantly improved motor function in PD patients, including UPDRS (SMD = −0.61, p < 0.001), TUG (SMD = −1.47, p < 0.001) and balance function (SMD = 0.79, p < 0.001). (2) Mind-body exercises also had significant effects on depression (SMD = −1.61, p = 0.002) and QoL (SMD = 0.66, p < 0.001). (3) Among the indicators, UPDRS (I2 = 81%) and depression (I2 = 91%) had higher heterogeneity; according to the results of the separate combined effect sizes of TUG (I2 = 29%), Balance (I2 = 16%) and QoL (I2 = 35%), it shows that the heterogeneity is small; (4) After meta-regression analysis of the age limit and other possible confounding factors, further subgroup analysis showed that the reason for the heterogeneity of UPDRS motor function may be related to the sex of PD patients and severity of the disease; the outcome of depression was heterogeneous. The reason for this may be the use of specific drugs in the experiment and the duration of intervention in the trial. Conclusion: (1) Mind-body exercises were found to have significant improvements in motor function, depressive symptoms, and quality of life in patients with Parkinson’s disease, and can be used as an effective method for clinical exercise intervention in PD patients. (2) Future clinical intervention programs for PD patients need to fully consider specific factors such as gender, severity of disease, specific drug use, and intervention cycle to effectively control heterogeneity factors, so that the clinical exercise intervention program for PD patients is objective, scientific, and effective.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6981975/

 

Improve Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms with Tai Chi

Improve Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms with Tai Chi

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

tai chi can be used as an add-on to current physical therapies and medications to ease some of the key problems faced by people with Parkinson’s disease.” – Peter Wayne

 

Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is an incurable progressive degenerative disease of the central nervous system. The condition is caused by the death of nerve cells in the brain that produce the neurotransmitter dopamine. There are around seven million people worldwide and one million people in the U.S. living with PD and about 60,000 people are diagnosed with PD every year. PD is associated with aging as the vast majority of patients are diagnosed after age 50. In fact, it has been speculated that everyone would eventually develop PD if they lived long enough.

 

Its physical symptoms include resting tremor, slow movements, muscle rigidity, problems with posture and balance, loss of automatic movements, and slurring of speech. PD itself is not fatal but is often associated with related complications which can reduce life expectancy, such as falls, choking, and cardiovascular problems. Parkinson’s Disease (PD) also has psychological effects, especially cognitive decline, anxiety, and depression. All of these symptoms result in a marked reduction in the quality of life.

 

There are no cures for Parkinson’s Disease or even treatments to slow its progression. There are only treatments that can produce symptomatic relief. So, there is a need to discover new and different treatments. Mindfulness training has been found to improve the psychological symptoms and the quality of life with PD patients.  In addition, Tai Chi practice has been shown to improve the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. Hence, Tai Chi  may be an excellent treatment for the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease.

 

In today’s Research News article “Tai Chi versus routine exercise in patients with early- or mild-stage Parkinson’s disease: a retrospective cohort analysis.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7013627/), Li and colleagues recruited adult patients with Parkinson’s Disease and randomly assigned them to receive either 90 minutes, 3 times per week for two months of routine exercise or of a 6-move Yang Tai Chi practice. They were measured before and after training for walking speed, up-and-go from chair, functional reach, functional activities, and falls over 6-month periods.

 

They found that both the exercise and Tai Chi practices produced significant improvements in walking speed, up-and-go from chair, and functional reach and significantly decreased numbers of falls over the 6-month period following treatment. But the Tai Chi group had superior outcomes compared to routine exercise.  In addition, a greater number of Tai Chi participants were able to withdraw from medication or reduce medication doses. No adverse events were recorded.

 

The results suggest that both exercise and Tai Chi practices produce significant improvements in the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease but Tai Chi practice produces even greater improvements. The reduction in falls observed in the Tai Chi group are particularly important as falls are a significant contributor to injuries and mortality in Parkinson’s Disease patients.

 

It’s important to note that Tai Chi is a gentle and safe mindfulness practice. It is appropriate for all ages including the elderly and for individuals with illnesses that limit their activities or range of motion. It is inexpensive to administer, can be performed in groups or alone, at home or in a facility, and can be quickly learned. In addition, it can be practiced in social groups. This can make it fun, improving the likelihood of long-term engagement in the practice. Hence, Tai Chi practice would appear to be a superior practice to be added to routine treatment for the improvements of the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease.

 

So, improve Parkinson’s Disease symptoms with Tai Chi.

 

Daily Tai Chi practice is extremely helpful to those with chronic ailments and illnesses like cancer, heart disease, stroke, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis, peripheral neuropathy, respiratory problems and irritable bowel syndrome to name a few,”  – Mwezo Kujiweza

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Li, Q., Liu, J., Dai, F., & Dai, F. (2020). Tai Chi versus routine exercise in patients with early- or mild-stage Parkinson’s disease: a retrospective cohort analysis. Brazilian journal of medical and biological research = Revista brasileira de pesquisas medicas e biologicas, 53(2), e9171. https://doi.org/10.1590/1414-431X20199171

 

Abstract

Parkinson’s disease cannot be cured but symptoms can be improved by making use of physical therapy. The objective of the study was to compare the effect of routine exercises and Tai Chi on physical and clinical performance in elderly people suffering from Parkinson’s disease. Data from interviews, physical and clinical performance, and levodopa consumption of 500 patients with confirmed Parkinson’s disease (severity level I to III) were collected and analyzed. Participants who received 80 min/day Tai Chi 3 times/week for 2 months were included in the Tai Chi (TC) group (n=250) and those who received 90 min/day routine exercise 3 times/week for 2 months were included in routine exercise (RE) group (n=250). Timed up-and-go, 50-foot speed walk, and functional reach were improved by Tai Chi and routine exercise (P<0.05 for all) but intensities of Tai Chi for improvement of such parameters was higher than routine exercise. Incidence of falls was decreased by both physical therapies (P<0.05 for all) but more for the TC group (P<0.0001, q=38.512). In the TC group, at the end of follow-up, 22 (9%) patients were successful in withdrawal of levodopa treatment. Also, the dose of levodopa was decreased in patients of the TC group who had to continue levodopa. Tai Chi had the potential to slow down the progression of symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and delayed the introduction of levodopa (level of evidence: III).

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7013627/

 

Improve Balance and Mobility and Prevent Falls in Parkinson’s Disease Patients with Tai Chi

Improve Balance and Mobility and Prevent Falls in Parkinson’s Disease Patients with Tai Chi

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“There is still so much to learn from research about exactly how exercise improves the physical and mental well-being of people with living with Parkinson’s disease, as well as which combinations or activities yield the best outcomes, but there is no doubt whatsoever that exercise remains one of the best therapies for preserving and enhancing quality of life.” – Davis Phinney

 

Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is an incurable progressive degenerative disease of the central nervous system. The condition is caused by the death of nerve cells in the brain that produce the neurotransmitter dopamine. There are around seven million people worldwide and one million people in the U.S. living with PD and about 60,000 people are diagnosed with PD every year. PD is associated with aging as the vast majority of patients are diagnosed after age 50. In fact, it has been speculated that everyone would eventually develop PD if they lived long enough.

 

Its physical symptoms include resting tremor, slow movements, muscle rigidity, problems with posture and balance, loss of automatic movements, and slurring of speech. PD itself is not fatal but is often associated with related complications which can reduce life expectancy, such as falls, choking, and cardiovascular problems. Parkinson’s Disease (PD) also has psychological effects, especially cognitive decline, anxiety, and depression. All of these symptoms result in a marked reduction in the quality of life.

 

There are no cures for Parkinson’s Disease or even treatments to slow its progression. There are only treatments that can produce symptomatic relief. So, there is a need to discover new and different treatments. Mindfulness training has been found to improve the psychological symptoms and the quality of life with PD patients.  In addition, Tai Chi practice has been shown to improve the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. Hence, Tai Chi  may be an excellent treatment for the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease.

 

In today’s Research News article “Effects of Tai Chi Exercise on Reducing Falls and Improving Balance Performance in Parkinson’s Disease: A Meta-Analysis.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6409066/), Liu and colleagues review, summarize, and perform a meta-analysis on the effectiveness of Tai Chi practice to improve balance and mobility and reduce falls in Parkinson’s Disease (PD) patients. They found and reviewed 5 published randomized controlled trials that compared Tai Chi practice to no intervention, stretching/resistance training, and walking control conditions.

 

They report that the trials found that in comparison to baseline and the control conditions Tai Chi  practice significantly improved balance and functional mobility in the Parkinson’s Disease patients and reduced the number who experienced a fall. This is important as the compromised motor ability of patients with Parkinson’s Disease makes them much more vulnerable to falls and the resultant compromised health. By improving balance and mobility in these patients Tai Chi practice produces enhanced health and well-being.

 

The results of the published research strongly suggests that Tai Chi  practice should be routinely prescribed for patients with Parkinson’s Disease. Tai Chi is a gentle and safe mindfulness practice. It is appropriate for all ages including the elderly and for individuals with illnesses that limit their activities or range of motion. It is inexpensive to administer, can be performed in groups or alone, at home or in a facility, and can be quickly learned. In addition, it can be practiced in social groups. This can make it fun, improving the likelihood of long-term engagement in the practice. So, Tai Chi practice would appear to be an excellent gentle practice to improve the well-being of patients with Parkinson’s Disease.

 

So, improve balance and mobility and prevent falls in Parkinson’s Disease patients with Tai Chi.

 

Daily Tai Chi practice is extremely helpful to those with chronic ailments and illnesses like cancer, heart disease, stroke, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis, peripheral neuropathy, respiratory problems and irritable bowel syndrome to name a few,” – Mwezo

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Liu, H. H., Yeh, N. C., Wu, Y. F., Yang, Y. R., Wang, R. Y., & Cheng, F. Y. (2019). Effects of Tai Chi Exercise on Reducing Falls and Improving Balance Performance in Parkinson’s Disease: A Meta-Analysis. Parkinson’s disease, 2019, 9626934. doi:10.1155/2019/9626934

 

Abstract

Introduction

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a common neurodegenerative disorder that may increase the risk of falls, functional limitation, and balance deficits. Tai Chi was used as an option for improving balance in people with PD. The aim of this meta-analysis was to evaluate the effects of Tai Chi on falls, balance, and functional mobility in individuals with PD.

Method

The literature search was conducted in PubMed, the Cochrane Library, CINAHL, PEDro, Medline, Embase, sportDISCUS, Trip, and the National Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations in Taiwan. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) analyzing the effects of Tai Chi, compared to no intervention or to other physical training, on falls, functional mobility, and balance in PD patients were selected. The outcome measurements included fall rates, Berg Balance Scale (BBS), Functional Reach (FR) test, and the Timed Up and Go (TUG) test. Two reviewers independently assessed the methodological quality and extracted data from the studies using the PEDro scale.

Results

Five RCTs that included a total of 355 PD patients were included in this review. The quality of evidence in these studies was rated as moderate to high. Compared to no intervention or other physical training, Tai Chi significantly decreased fall rates (odds ratio = 0.47, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.30 to 0.74, and p=0.001) and significantly improved balance and functional mobility (BBS mean difference (MD) = 3.47, 95% CI 2.11 to 4.80, and p < 0.001; FR MD = 3.55 cm, 95% CI 1.88 to 5.23, and p < 0.001; TUG MD = −1.06 s, 95% CI −1.61 to −0.51, and p < 0.001) in people with PD.

Conclusion

This meta-analysis provides moderate- to high-quality evidence from five RCTs that Tai Chi could be a good physical training strategy for preventing falls and improving balance and functional mobility in people with PD.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6409066/

 

Improve Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms with Tai Chi

Improve Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms with Tai Chi

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“It isn’t every day that an effective new treatment for some Parkinson’s disease symptoms comes along. Especially one that is safe, causes no adverse side effects, and may also benefit the rest of the body and the mind. . . . tai chi may improve balance and prevent falls among people with Parkinson’s disease.” – Peter Wayne

 

Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is an incurable progressive degenerative disease of the central nervous system. The condition is caused by the death of nerve cells in the brain that produce the neurotransmitter dopamine. There are around seven million people worldwide and one million people in the U.S. living with PD and about 60,000 people are diagnosed with PD every year. PD is associated with aging as the vast majority of patients are diagnosed after age 50. In fact, it has been speculated that everyone would eventually develop PD if they lived long enough.

 

Its physical symptoms include resting tremor, slow movements, muscle rigidity, problems with posture and balance, loss of automatic movements, and slurring of speech. PD itself is not fatal but is often associated with related complications which can reduce life expectancy, such as falls, choking, and cardiovascular problems. Parkinson’s Disease (PD) also has psychological effects, especially cognitive decline, anxiety, and depression. All of these symptoms result in a marked reduction in the quality of life.

 

There are no cures for Parkinson’s Disease or even treatments to slow its progression. There are only treatments that can produce symptomatic relief. So, there is a need to discover new and different treatments. Mindfulness training has been found to improve the psychological symptoms and the quality of life with PD patients.  In addition, Qigong  has been shown to improve the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. Hence, Tai Chi and Qigong may be an excellent treatment for the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease.

 

In today’s Research News article “The impact of Tai Chi and Qigong mind-body exercises on motor and non-motor function and quality of life in Parkinson’s disease: A systematic review and meta-analysis.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5618798/ ), Song and colleagues reviewed, summarized, and performed a meta-analysis of the published research literature on the effectiveness of Tai Chi practice for the relief of the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. They found 21 studies, including 823 total patients with an average age of 67.5 years, 15 of which were randomized controlled trials and 8 contained active control conditions. No adverse events were reported.

 

They found that Tai Chi practice produced significant improvements in motor functions, balance, Timed-Up-and-Go (getting up from chair, walking 3 meters, and sitting back down), walking speed, and falls. Tai Chi practice was also found to significantly improve the psychological state of the patients with significantly lower levels of depression and increases in quality of life. Hence, Tai Chi practice produced important improvements in the motor ability and psychological state of patients with Parkinson’s Disease.

 

These findings are significant and important suggesting that Tai Chi practice is a safe and effective treatment for the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. Tai Chi and Qigong are ancient mindfulness practices involving slow prescribed movements. They are gentle and completely safe, can be used with the elderly and sickly, is inexpensive to administer, can be performed in groups or alone, at home or in a facility or even public park, and can be quickly learned. In addition, it can also be practiced in social groups without professional supervision. This can make it fun, improving the likelihood of long-term engagement in the practice.

 

So, improve Parkinson’s Disease symptoms with Tai Chi.

 

There are many obvious reasons everyone with Parkinson’s should be doing Tai Chi, but it’s the ones that are not yet obvious that may be the most intriguing. One obvious reason is that Tai Chi is the most powerful balance and coordination enhancing exercise known. In many studies at major universities Tai Chi was found to be TWICE as effective in reducing falls as the other balance enhancing exercises being studied.” – Sherri Woodbridge

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Song, R., Grabowska, W., Park, M., Osypiuk, K., Vergara, G., Bonato, P., … Wayne, P. (2017). The impact of Tai Chi and Qigong mind-body exercises on motor and non-motor function and quality of life in Parkinson’s disease: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Parkinsonism & Related Disorders, 41, 3–13. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.parkreldis.2017.05.019

 

Highlights

  • Tai Chi/Qigong is a mind-body intervention that has the potential to address motor and non-motor symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease.
  • Mixed results for motor outcomes have been reported, while even less attention has been devoted to systematically evaluating the effects of Tai Chi/Qigong on non-motor outcomes.
  • Our meta-analyses indicate clinically relevant effect sizes in favor of Tai Chi/Qigong for motor function, balance, and quality of life, and significant effect sizes persisted even when comparisons were limited to active controls.

Abstract

Purpose

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).

Methods

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

Results

Our search identified 21 studies, 15 of which were RCTs with a total of 755 subjects. For RCTs, comparison groups included no treatment (n=7, 47%) and active interventions (n=8, 53%). 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 (UPDRS III [ES=-0.444, p<.001], balance [ES=0.544, p<.001], Timed-Up-and-Go [ES=−0.341, p=.005], 6MW [ES=−0.293, p=.06]), falls [ES=−.403, p=.004], as well as depression [ES=−0.457, p=.008] and QOL [ES=−0.393, p<.001], but not cognition [ES= −0.225, p=.477]). I2 indicated limited heterogeneity. Funnel plots suggested some degree of publication bias.

Conclusion

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.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5618798/

 

Improve the Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease with Yoga

Improve the Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease with Yoga

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“While there is no evidence that regular yoga practice has an effect on the systems in the brain that are related to Parkinson’s disease, patients report improvements in their quality of life.” – Lynn Burgess

 

Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is an incurable progressive degenerative disease of the central nervous system. The condition is caused by the death of nerve cells in the brain that produce the neurotransmitter dopamine. There are around seven million people worldwide and one million people in the U.S. living with PD and about 60,000 people are diagnosed with PD every year. PD is associated with aging as the vast majority of patients are diagnosed after age 50. In fact, it has been speculated that everyone would eventually develop PD if they lived long enough.

 

Parkinson’s Disease’s (PD) physical symptoms include resting tremor, slow movements, muscle rigidity, problems with posture and balance, loss of automatic movements, and slurring of speech. PD itself is not fatal but is often associated with related complications which can reduce life expectancy, such as falls, choking, and cardiovascular problems. Parkinson’s Disease (PD) also has psychological effects, especially cognitive decline, anxiety, and depression. All of these symptoms result in a marked reduction in the quality of life.

 

There are no cures for Parkinson’s Disease or even treatments to slow its progression. There are only treatments that can produce symptomatic relief. So, there is a need to discover new and different treatments. Mindfulness training has been found to improve the psychological symptoms and the quality of life with PD patients. The slow prescribed movements of Tai Chi and Qigong  have been shown to improve the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease.  This suggests that other mindful physical exercises like yoga practice might also be effective.

 

In today’s Research News article “Functional Improvements in Parkinson’s Disease Following a Randomized Trial of Yoga.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6009016/ ), Van Puymbroeck and colleagues recruited patients with Parkinson’s Disease and also reported a substantial fear of falling. They were randomly assigned to receive either an 8-week yoga practice or to a wait list control condition. Yoga practice met twice weekly and included postures, meditation, and breathing exercises. They were measured before and after training for Parkinson’s Disease symptoms, Parkinson’s Disease quality of life, balance control, functional gait, and freezing gait. Freezing gait is common in Parkinson’s Disease and is “a brief, episodic absence or marked reduction of forward progression of the feet despite the intention to walk.”

 

They found that in comparison to baseline and the wait-list group, the yoga group had significant improvements in functional gait, Parkinson’s Disease motor symptoms, freezing gait, and balance control, all with moderate effect sizes. Hence yoga practice produced significant improvements in the motor and balance ability of patients with Parkinson’s Disease. This would predict that yoga practice would reduce falls and improve the longevity of PD patients.

 

It should be noted that the control condition did not contain any active components. This leaves open the possibility of contamination by placebo effects and biases. Future research should employ an active control condition such as aerobic exercise. Nevertheless, the results are very encouraging that yoga practice may well be highly beneficial for patients with Parkinson’s Disease.

 

So, improve the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease with yoga.

 

Several recent studies have suggested that yoga may offer significant relief to people with Parkinson’s disease. . . .yoga not only improved psychological well-being, it also had an effect on the mobility problems experienced by many patients.” – Sarah Alender

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Van Puymbroeck, M., Walter, A., Hawkins, B. L., Sharp, J. L., Woschkolup, K., Urrea-Mendoza, E., … Schmid, A. A. (2018). Functional Improvements in Parkinson’s Disease Following a Randomized Trial of Yoga. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine : eCAM, 2018, 8516351. http://doi.org/10.1155/2018/8516351

 

Abstract

Individuals with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) experience significant limitations in motor function, functional gait, postural stability, and balance. These limitations often lead to higher incidences of falls, which have significant complications for individuals with PD. Yoga may improve these functional deficits in individuals with PD. The objective of this study was to determine changes in motor function, functional gait, postural stability, and balance control for community dwelling individuals with PD. This randomized, wait-list controlled pilot study examined the influence of an 8-week yoga intervention for people with PD who met the following inclusion criteria: endorsing a fear of falling, being able to speak English, scoring 4/6 on the minimental state exam, and being willing to attend the intervention twice weekly for 8-weeks. Participants in the yoga group (n=15) experienced improvements in motor function, postural stability, functional gait, and freezing gait, as well as reductions in fall risk. Participants in the wait-list control (n=12) also significantly improved in postural stability, although their fall risk was not reduced. Individuals in the yoga group significantly reduced their fall risk. An 8-week yoga intervention may reduce fall risk and improve postural stability, and functional and freezing gait in individuals with PD.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6009016/

 

Improve Parkinson’s Disease with Group Tai Chi Practice

Improve Parkinson’s Disease with Group Tai Chi Practice

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Tai chi, an ancient martial art characterized by slow, flowing movement and meditation, helps improve balance and movement control for people with Parkinson’s disease.” – Tara Parker-Pope

 

Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is an incurable progressive degenerative disease of the central nervous system. The condition is caused by the death of nerve cells in the brain that produce the neurotransmitter dopamine. There are around seven million people worldwide and one million people in the U.S. living with PD and about 60,000 people are diagnosed with PD every year. PD is associated with aging as the vast majority of patients are diagnosed after age 50. In fact, it has been speculated that everyone would eventually develop PD if they lived long enough.

 

Its physical symptoms include resting tremor, slow movements, muscle rigidity, problems with posture and balance, loss of automatic movements, and slurring of speech. PD itself is not fatal but is often associated with related complications which can reduce life expectancy, such as falls, choking, and cardiovascular problems. Parkinson’s Disease (PD) also has psychological effects, especially cognitive decline, anxiety, and depression. All of these symptoms result in a marked reduction in the quality of life.

 

There are no cures for Parkinson’s Disease or even treatments to slow its progression. There are only treatments that can produce symptomatic relief. So, there is a need to discover new and different treatments. Mindfulness training has been found to improve the psychological symptoms and the quality of life with PD patients. Tai Chi and Qigong are ancient mindfulness practices involving slow prescribed movements. They are gentle and completely safe, can be used with the elderly and sickly, is inexpensive to administer, can be performed in groups or alone, at home or in a facility or even public park, and can be quickly learned. In addition, it can also be practiced in social groups without professional supervision. This can make it fun, improving the likelihood of long-term engagement in the practice. In addition, Qigong  has been shown to improve the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. Hence, Tai Chi and Qigong may be an excellent treatment for the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease.

 

The parameters of Tai Chi and Qigong practice that maximize its benefits for the relief of the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease have not been explored. In today’s Research News article “The Effects of Group-Based versus Individual-Based Tai Chi Training on Nonmotor Symptoms in Patients with Mild to Moderate Parkinson’s Disease: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Trial.” See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5546134/, Yang and colleagues investigate the relative effectiveness of Tai Chi practiced alone or in group contexts. They recruited patients with Parkinson’s Disease and randomly assigned them to practice Tai Chi for 45 minutes, 3 times per week, for 13 weeks either alone or in a group of 6 to 7 participants. Home practice was also prescribed. They were measured before and after training for cognitive ability, depression, and the non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease including cardiovascular, sleep/fatigue, mood/cognition, perceptual problems, attention/memory, gastrointestinal, urinary, and sexual function.

 

They found that after training both groups showed significant improvement in the overall non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease and particularly in sleep. Only the group Tai Chi practice participants, however, showed a significant improvement in cognitive (thinking) performance. In addition, the group Tai Chi practice participants had significantly greater compliance with home practice. Hence, Tai Chi regardless of whether practiced in groups of individually improved the non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease, but practicing it in groups appears to produce an additional improvement in the ability of the patients to process information (Cognition) and improve their likelihood of practicing at home.

 

The present results, as prior research, make it clear that Tai Chi practice is helpful in relieving the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. But, the results also make it clear that practicing in a group may be superior to practicing alone. Group Tai Chi practice may be more fun and engaging, potentiating its effectiveness. Its effectiveness for cognition is particularly important as cognitive decline is a common symptom of the progression of Parkinson’s Disease and complicates the patient’s ability to carry on normal life functions.

 

So, improve Parkinson’s Disease with group Tai Chi practice.

 

“Falls are common in people with Parkinson’s, and they can cause serious injuries, including fractures and concussions. Studies show falls are the main cause of hospitalizations in Parkinson’s patients. People in the tai chi group reported half the number of falls compared to those who were taking resistance training and two-thirds fewer falls than people who were doing light stretching exercises.” – Brenda Goodman

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Yang, J. H., Wang, Y. Q., Ye, S. Q., Cheng, Y. G., Chen, Y., & Feng, X. Z. (2017). The Effects of Group-Based versus Individual-Based Tai Chi Training on Nonmotor Symptoms in Patients with Mild to Moderate Parkinson’s Disease: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Trial. Parkinson’s Disease, 2017, 8562867. http://doi.org/10.1155/2017/8562867

 

Abstract

Objective

To compare the effects of group-based and individual-based Tai Chi training on nonmotor symptoms in patients with mild to moderate Parkinson’s disease.

Design

Randomized controlled pilot study.

Methods

36 community-dwelling patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) were randomly assigned to either group-based training group (n = 19) or individual-based group (n = 17). Both groups received same content of Tai Chi training 3 times a week for 13 weeks. Participants were also asked to perform home exercises daily. The Non-Motor Symptoms Scale was used to assess global nonmotor symptoms change. Sleep quality, depression, and cognition were evaluated by Parkinson’s Disease Sleep Scale, Hamilton Depression Scale, and Beijing version-Montreal Cognitive Assessment, respectively. Home exercise compliance was recorded.

Results

There was no significant difference between two groups at baseline. After 13 weeks, there were no statistical significance between two groups. However, the within-group effect was different. Participants in group-based and individual-based groups showed a significant improvement on global nonmotor symptoms (P < 0.001, P = 0.004) and sleep (P < 0.001, P < 0.001). But only group-based training patients presented a significant improvement in cognitive impairment compared with baseline (P = 0.002, P − 0.116). For depression, no group gained a significant improvement(P = 0.123, P = 0.170). Group-based participants had a higher home-exercise compliance rate (HeCR) than individual-based participants did (P = 0.019), and HeCR showed a moderate correlation with MoCA-BJ and NMSS scores changes in this study.

Conclusion

Group-based Tai Chi training is considered to be a more effective and a more labor-saving method in the clinical settings, and patients tend to have a higher compliance rate in their home exercise program

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5546134/