Integrating Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Treatment With 8-Week Tai Chi Chuan Practice: An Exploration of Mind-Body Intervention and Neural Mechanism

Author: Haoran Shen1,2, Li-Zhen Chen1,2, Zhuoer Hu1,3,4, Xiaoyan Yao5, Tao Yang6, Lan Zhang6, Qiang Tu6, Guangxi Li5, Gao-Xia Wei1,2
1 CAS Key Laboratory of Mental Health, Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.
2 Department of Psychology, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.
3 Sino-Danish College, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.
4 Sino-Danish Center for Education and Research, Beijing, China.
5 Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Guang'anmen Hospital, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing, China.
6 Department of Neurology, Jingzhou No. 1 People's Hospital and First Affiliated Hospital of Yangtze University, Jingzhou, China.
Conference/Journal: Front Hum Neurosci
Date published: 2022 May 6
Other: Volume ID: 16 , Pages: 849481 , Special Notes: doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2022.849481. , Word Count: 290

This study aims to explore the effect of integrating routine treatment with Tai Chi Chuan (TCC) intervention on the clinical symptom of patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) from clinical and neurological perspectives.

Twenty patients with COPD were recruited for regular treatment combined with 8-week TCC rehabilitative practice. Clinical symptoms were evaluated by Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Symptom Assessment Scale (CAT) and Modified Dyspnea Scale (mMRC) at baseline and after treatment. Resting-state MRI scan was also performed with multiline T2-weighted echo-planar imaging (EPI) to acquire their functional images before and after the treatment. TCC rehabilitation involved a total of 8 weeks of practice with 90 min per session, three times a week.

After an 8-week integration routine treatment with TCC practice, the patient's clinical symptoms improved significantly. Imaging analysis showed that COPD patients exhibited decreased Degree of Centrality (DC) in the right inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), right middle frontal gyrus, bilateral cingulate cortex, bilateral precuneus, and right precentral gyrus. Moreover, correlation analysis found that the decreased DC in the right IFG was positively correlated with the CAT improvements.

The routine treatment involving TCC rehabilitation practice could improve the clinical symptoms of patients with COPD. The right IFG might be a key brain region to contribute to the neural mechanism underlying integrative intervention on the clinical symptoms in COPD. These findings provide neurological evidence for treating COPD rehabilitation practice with mind-body practice based on Chinese culture to some extent, which also advances the understanding of the efficacy of TCC as the adjuvant technology from a neuroscience perspective.

Clinical trial registration:
[], identifier [ChiCTR1900028335].

Keywords: Tai Chi; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; frontal lobe; mind-body intervention; resting fMRI.

PMID: 35601899 PMCID: PMC9120527 DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2022.849481