Can Qigong improve non-motor symptoms in people with Parkinson's disease - A pilot randomized controlled trial?
Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2020 May ;39:101169. Epub 2020 Apr 2. PMID: 32379638
Non-motor symptoms (NMS) including sleep disorders, anxiety, depression, fatigue, and cognitive decline can significantly impact quality of life in people with PD. Qigong exercise is a mind-body exercise that shows a wide range of benefits in various medical conditions. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of Qigong exercise on NMS with a focus on sleep quality. Seventeen participants completed a 12-week intervention of Qigong (n = 8) or sham Qigong (n = 9). Disease severity, anxiety and depression levels, fatigue, cognition, quality of life, and other NMS of the participants were evaluated prior to the intervention and at the end of the 12-week intervention. After the intervention, both Qigong and sham-Qigong group showed significant improvement in sleep quality (p < 0.05) and overall NMS (p < 0.05). No significant difference was found between groups. Qigong exercise has the potential as a rehabilitation method for people with PD, specifically alleviating NMS in PD. However, this finding needs to be carefully considered due to the small sample size and potentially low intervention fidelity of this study.