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Tai Chi Exercise to Improve Non-Motor Symptoms of Parkinsonand#8217;s Disease | OMICS International | Abstract
ISSN: 2157-7595

Journal of Yoga & Physical Therapy
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Research Article

Tai Chi Exercise to Improve Non-Motor Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease

Joe R Nocera1,2*, Shinichi Amano3, Srikant Vallabhajosula4 and Chris J Hass3

1VA Rehabilitation R&D Center of Excellence, Atlanta VAMC, Decatur, GA, USA

2Department of Neurology, Emory University, Decatur, GA, USA

3Department of Applied Physiology and Kinesiology,University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA

4Department of Physical Therapy Education, Elon University, Elon, NC, USA

*Corresponding Author:
Joe R Nocera, PhD
Department of Neurology, Emory University, Decatur
GA Atlanta VAMC COE, 1670 Clairmont Road
MS 151R, Decatur, GA 30033, USA
Tel: 404 321 6111, ext. 6354
E-mail: [email protected]

Received Date: May 13, 2013; Accepted Date: August 19, 2013; Published Date: August 22, 2013

Citation: Nocera JR, Amano S, Vallabhajosula S, Hass CJ (2013) Tai Chi Exercise to Improve Non-Motor Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. J Yoga Phys Ther 3:137. doi:10.4172/2157-7595.1000137

Copyright: © 2013 Nocera JR, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Background: A substantial number of individuals with Parkinson’s disease exhibit debilitating non-motor symptoms that decrease quality of life. To date, few treatment options exist for the non-motor symptomatology related to Parkinson’s disease. The goal of this pilot investigation was to determine the effects of Tai Chi exercise on the non-motor symptomology in Parkinson’s disease. Methods: Twenty-one individuals with Parkinson’s disease were enrolled in a Tai Chi intervention (n=15) or a noncontact control group (n=6). Participants assigned to Tai Chi participated in 60-minute Tai Chi sessions three times per week, for 16 weeks. Pre and post measures included indices of cognitive-executive function including visuomotor tracking and attention, selective attention, working memory, inhibition, processing speed and task switching. Additionally, all participants were evaluated on the Parkinson’s disease Questionnaire-39 and Tinetti’s Falls Efficacy Scale. Results: Results indicated that the Tai Chi training group had significantly better scores following the intervention than the control group on the Parkinson’s disease Questionnaire-39 total score as well as the emotional well-being sub score. Trends for improvement were noted for the Tai Chi group on Digits Backwards, Tinetti’s Falls Efficacy Scale, and the activities of daily living and communication sub scores of the Parkinson’s disease Questionnaire-39. Conclusions: This research provides initial data that supports future studies to definitively establish efficacy of Tai Chi to improve non-motor features of Parkinson’s disease.