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Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2011 Oct;19(10):839-50. doi: 10.1097/JGP.0b013e31820ee9ef.

Complementary use of tai chi chih augments escitalopram treatment of geriatric depression: a randomized controlled trial.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences and the Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, University of California, Los Angeles, USA. hlavrets@ucla.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Nearly two-thirds of elderly patients treated for depression fail to achieve symptomatic remission and functional recovery with first-line pharmacotherapy. In this study, we ask whether a mind-body exercise, Tai Chi Chih (TCC), added to escitalopram will augment the treatment of geriatric depression designed to achieve symptomatic remission and improvements in health functioning and cognitive performance.

METHODS:

: One hundred twelve older adults with major depression age 60 years and older were recruited and treated with escitalopram for approximately 4 weeks. Seventy-three partial responders to escitalopram continued to receive escitalopram daily and were randomly assigned to 10 weeks of adjunct use of either 1) TCC for 2 hours per week or 2) health education (HE) for 2 hours per week. All participants underwent evaluations of depression, anxiety, resilience, health-related quality of life, cognition, and inflammation at baseline and during 14-week follow-up.

RESULTS:

Subjects in the escitalopram and TCC condition were more likely to show greater reduction of depressive symptoms and to achieve a depression remission as compared with those receiving escitalopram and HE. Subjects in the escitalopram and TCC condition also showed significantly greater improvements in 36-Item Short Form Health Survey physical functioning and cognitive tests and a decline in the inflammatory marker, C-reactive protein, compared with the control group.

CONCLUSION:

: Complementary use of a mind-body exercise, such as TCC, may provide additional improvements of clinical outcomes in the pharmacologic treatment of geriatric depression.

PMID:
21358389
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3136557
Free PMC Article

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