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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


Introduction:

  • Individuals with Parkinson’s disease (PD) have motor symptoms, such as walking and balance problems, resting tremor, slowness of movement, muscle stiffness, and other characteristic motor symptoms, and non-motor symptoms such as sleep disorders, cognitive decline, fatigue, anxiety, and depression.
  • Treatment for PD has emphasized medication-based intervention, particularly levodopa, and other specific medications to address motor and non-motor symptoms with varying results.
    1. Long-term medication use can also cause side-effects for many patients.
  • It is imperative to find other effective PD treatment programs.
    1. Exercise can be used to assist in rehabilitation of PD patients.
    2. Studies have reported that dance, resistance training, and stretching exercises are effective in improving the function of patients with PD.
    3. Mind-body exercise is a low-cost, easy-to-operate, low-impact, moderate- intensity aerobic exercise that emphasizes both skeletal muscle stretching and relaxation, physical coordination training, and emphasizes on breathing and movement control.
    4. The perfect combination of body and mind can have a positive effect on the body and mind, suitable for the rehabilitation of chronic diseases, especially for non-motor symptoms (depression, stress, pain, cardiovascular disease, and high blood pressure).
  • The common forms of physical and mental exercises mainly include:
    1. Yoga:
      • Yoga combines physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation or relaxation. It has a meditative and spiritual core.
    2. Tai chi:
      • A series of gentle physical exercises and stretches.
    3. Health Qigong:
      • A technique used to assist with coordinated body-posture and movement, breathing, and meditation. It involves moving meditation, coordinating slow-flowing movement, deep rhythmic breathing, and a calm meditative state of mind.
  • Research interventions have focused on Tai Chi, Yoga, and Health Qigong and their influence on PD motor function, depressive symptoms, and quality of life.

Purpose of the study:
This study, for the first time, combines these three forms of mind-body exercise and quantifies their effects to assess safety and potential benefits, in order to provide scientific evidence for their clinical use in improving motor function, depressive symptoms, and quality of life in patients with Parkinson’s Disease.

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