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Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2012 Sep;20(9):764-72. doi: 10.1097/JGP.0b013e3182330fd3.

Mitigating cellular inflammation in older adults: a randomized controlled trial of Tai Chi Chih.

Author information

1
Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology, Semel Institute for Neuroscience, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA. mirwin1@ucla.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To evaluate the effects of a behavioral intervention, Tai Chi Chih (TCC) on circulating markers of inflammation in older adults.

DESIGN:

A prospective, randomized, controlled trial with allocation to two arms, TCC and health education (HE), 16 weeks of intervention administration, and 9 weeks follow-up.

PARTICIPANTS:

A total of 83 healthy older adults, aged 59 to 86 years.

MEASUREMENTS:

The primary endpoint was circulating levels of interleukin 6 (IL-6). Secondary outcomes were circulating levels of C-reactive protein, soluble IL-1 receptor antagonist, soluble IL-6 receptor, soluble intercellular adhesion molecule, and IL-18. Severity of depressive symptoms, sleep quality, and physical activity was also assessed over the treatment trial.

RESULTS:

Among those older adults with high levels of IL-6 at entry, a trend for a treatment group by time interaction was found (F[1,70] = 3.48, p = 0.07), in which TCC produced a drop of IL-6 levels comparable to those found in TCC and HE subgroups who had low levels of IL-6 at entry (t72's = 0.80, 1.63, p's >0.10), whereas IL-6 in HE remained higher than the TCC and HE subgroups with low entry IL-6 (t72 = 2.47, p = 0.02; t72 = 1.71, p = 0.09). Decreases in depressive symptoms in the two treatment groups correlated with decreases of IL-6 (r = 0.28, p <0.05). None of the other cellular markers of inflammation changed in TCC versus HE.

CONCLUSION:

TCC can be considered a useful behavioral intervention to reduce circulating levels of IL-6 in older adults who show elevated levels of this inflammatory marker and are at risk for inflammation-related morbidity.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00118885.

PMID:
21934474
PMCID:
PMC3247625
DOI:
10.1097/JGP.0b013e3182330fd3
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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