Category: Parkinson's Disease: Neurophysiology
Objective: To analyze the influence of Tai Chi training on neurological changes, neuropsychology, quality of life (QoL) and EEG in PD patients.
Background: Besides pharmacological treatments there were several training studies analyzing the benefits of physical exercises. Tai Chi training is a combination of cognitive (attention and motor planning) and physical exercise, but it is rarely studied in research (Liu et al. 2019). To our knowledge, this is the first study that intended to study Tai Chi applying EEG.
Method: N=28 patients (f=7, m =21; median age 63y (59y – 75y); n=15 patients in the Tai Chi group, and n=13 patients in the control group) diagnosed with idiopathic PD completed a comprehensive neuropsychological test battery and a neurological examination. The Tai Chi group was investigated with Tinetti Mobility Test and Epworth Sleepiness Scale (TMT and ESS).
We applied 32-channel dry EEG (power bands: theta 3.5-7.5 Hz, alpha1 7.5-10 Hz, alpha2 10-12.5 Hz, beta 12.5-20 Hz). We analyzed the data with repeated-measures ANOVA, with Bonferroni correction, and Wilcoxon sum rank test, p<0.05 was considered as significant.
Results: Four weeks of Tai Chi training showed significant improvements within the intervention group on Verbal Episodic Memory (Basel Verbal Learning Test): (p= .02 , ηp2=.34 ) and visual-construction (Rey Figure Test) : (p=.05, ηp2=.25 ). In the training group the Tinetti Mobility Test (p < .001) and Epworth Sleepiness Scale (p<.01) were improved, the Tinetti Mobility Test benefit remained significant after 6 months (p<0.01). Initial qEEG analyses for absolute power in theta, alpha and beta bands in 8 patients did not show any obvious changes for before and after Tai Chi training.
Conclusion: In patients with PD, Tai Chi training not only improves balance and gait stability, but may also result in improvements of verbal and visual performance in this relatively small group of patients with PD. No improvement in the EEG power spectrum was observed.
References: H.-H. Liu, N.-C. Yeh, Y.-F. Wu, Y.-R. Yang, R.-Y. Wang, F.-Y. Cheng, Effects of Tai Chi Exercise on Reducing Falls and Improving Balance Performance in Parkinson’s Disease: A Meta-Analysis, Parkinson’s Disease. 2019 (2019) 1–8.
To cite this abstract in AMA style:U. Gschwandtner, K. Toloraia, M. Atanasova, TM. Al Tawil, S. Elsas, P. Fuhr. Tai Chi training of people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) – neuropsychological and electrophysiological analyses [abstract]. Mov Disord. 2023; 38 (suppl 1). https://www.mdsabstracts.org/abstract/tai-chi-training-of-people-with-parkinsons-disease-pd-neuropsychological-and-electrophysiological-analyses/. Accessed September 22, 2023.
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MDS Abstracts - https://www.mdsabstracts.org/abstract/tai-chi-training-of-people-with-parkinsons-disease-pd-neuropsychological-and-electrophysiological-analyses/