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Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation:
doi: 10.1097/TGR.0000000000000007
Neuroplasticity

Qi Gong to Improve Postural Stability (QTIPS) for Parkinson Fall Prevention: A Neuroplasticity Approach

Loftus, Sheree L. PhD, MSN, GNP-BC, CRRN

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Abstract

People with Parkinson disease (PD) have twice the risk of falls as their age-matched peers. Medication and surgery have not ameliorated Parkinson-related falls (PRFs), which are characteristic of disease progression, leading to considerable morbidity and mortality. Exercise can improve postural stability and decrease risk of falls. Chinese and allopathic interventions for decreasing falls have been investigated. This research evaluated the effect of Qi Gong on postural stability and falls for individuals with PD. A pretest/posttest, repeated-measures design was used to demonstrate changes in balance scores and the number of falls after 3 months of therapeutic Qi Gong. Forty-one participants were recruited in New York City and surrounding counties. The sample included males and females with Hoehn and Yahr rating scale stage I-IV PD who were 55 years and older. Instruments included the Berg Balance Scale, the Parkinson Disease Fall Profile, and the Mini-Mental State Examination. The influence of Qi Gong on postural stability and PRFs was verified by statistically significant changes in improvement in balance scores and decreased number of falls. Qi Gong is mindful exercise, a healing component of Chinese medicine, which is congruent with neuroplasticity, brain reorganization, and repair. This original translational research implements enriched combined cognitive and physical exercise in a social environment that may contribute to the outcomes.

© 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

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