Yoga Meditation Enhances Proprioception and Balance in Individuals Diagnosed With Parkinson's Disease

Author: Nicholas P Cherup1, Keri L Strand1, Lucrezia Lucchi1, Savannah V Wooten1, Corneliu Luca2, Joseph F Signorile1 3
1 Laboratory of Neuromuscular Research and Active Aging, Department of Kinesiology and Sport Sciences, University of Miami.
2 Miller School of Medicine, Soffer Clinical Research Center, University of Miami.
3 Miller School of Medicine, Center on Aging, University of Miami.
Conference/Journal: Percept Mot Skills
Date published: 2020 Aug 3
Other: Pages: 31512520945085 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1177/0031512520945085. , Word Count: 180

This study compared the effectiveness of two proprioceptive exercise programs for persons diagnosed with Parkinson's disease (PD). Thirty-three patients with mild to moderate PD were randomly assigned to a yoga meditation program (YoMed) or to an established proprioceptive training program (PRO). Both interventions included twice weekly sessions (45 minutes each), spanning a 12-week period. Outcome measures included: joint position sense (JPS45°, JPS55°, JPS65°) and joint kinesthesia (JKFlex and JKExt), the Tinetti Balance Assessment Tool (TIN), Falls Efficacy Scale (FES), Balance Error Scoring System (BESS), dynamic posturography (DMA and TIME) and the Timed Up-and-Go Test (TUG). Test administrators were blinded to group affiliation. Significant between-group differences favoring the YoMed group were observed for TIN (p = 0.01, d = 0.77) and JKFlex (p = 0.05, d = -0.72). DMA and TIME scores significantly improved for both groups, and no adverse events were reported. These findings indicate that the YoMed program is safe and effective for patients with PD. Researchers should continue to examine the clinical efficacy of mind-body techniques to improve movement control and body awareness in this population.

KEYWORDS: action observation; meditation; mental imagery; proprioception; yoga.

PMID: 32746736 DOI: 10.1177/0031512520945085