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J Phys Ther Sci. 2014 Jul;26(7):1025-30. doi: 10.1589/jpts.26.1025. Epub 2014 Jul 30.

Tai Chi Exercise can Improve the Obstacle Negotiating Ability of People with Parkinson's Disease: A Preliminary Study.

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Department of Physical Therapy, College of Health Science, Korea University, Republic of Korea.
Department of Pharmacology, College of Pharmacy, Catholic University of Daegu, Republic of Korea.
Department of Pharmacology, College of Medicine, Chung-Ang University, Republic of Korea.


[Purpose] The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of Tai Chi (TC)-based exercise on dynamic postural control during obstacle negotiation by subjects with mild or moderate Parkinson's disease (PD). [Subjects] Twelve subjects (mean age, 65.3±6.1 years) diagnosed with idiopathic PD were enrolled for this study. [Methods] All the subjects were tested a week before and 12 weeks after the initiation of the TC exercise. In the test, they were instructed to negotiate an obstacle from the position of quiet stance at a normal speed. They were trained with TC exercise that emphasized multidirectional shift in weight bearing from bilateral to unilateral support, challenging the postural stability, three times per week for 12 weeks. Center of pressure (COP) trajectory variables before and after TC exercise were measured using two force plates. [Results] A comparison of the results between pre- and post-intervention showed a statistically significant improvement in anteroposterior and mediolateral displacement of COP. [Conclusion] Twelve weeks of TC exercise may be an effective and safe form of stand-alone behavioral intervention for improving the dynamic postural stability of patients with PD.


Obstacle negotiation; Parkinson’s disease; Tai Chi exercise

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