Researchers at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City find that tui na massage, acupuncture, and qigong improved subjective quality of life & reduced depression, but UPDRS motor scores actually worsened..

Researchers at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City evaluated the effects of sequential tui na massage, acupuncture, and instrument-delivered qigong for patients with Parkinson disease (PD) over a 6-month period. Twenty-five patients received weekly treatments, which included tui na massage prior to acupuncture followed by instrument-delivered qigong. Each patient was assessed at baseline and at 6 months.

Before and after treatment patients were evaluated with the Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS), Hoehn and Yahr Staging (H&Y), Schwab and England Activities of Daily Living (S & E), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), Parkinson''s Disease Questionnaire (PDQ-39) quality of life assessment, and patient global assessments.

There were no significant improvements in treatment measures; however, there was a 2.4-point worsening in UPDRS motor scores (24.0 versus 26.4, p = 0.018). There was a 16% improvement in the PDQ- 39 total score (23.2 versus 19.6, p = 0.044) and a 29% improvement in the BDI (9.6 versus 6.8, p = 0.006). Sixteen (16) patients reported moderate to marked improvement. There were no adverse effects.

The study concludes that acupuncture is safe and well tolerated in patients with PD. Most patients reported subjective improvement. The BDI and PDQ-39 total score, measuring depression and quality of life, demonstrated some improvement, but UPDRS motor scores worsened.

Citation: Eng ML, Lyons KE, Greene MS, Pahwa R. Open-label trial regarding the use of acupuncture and yin tui na in Parkinson''s disease outpatients: a pilot study on efficacy, tolerability, and quality of life. J Altern Complement Med. 2006 May; 12 (4): pp.395-9. [email protected]