Yijinjing Qigong intervention shows strong evidence on clinical effectiveness and electroencephalography signal features for early poststroke depression: A randomized, controlled trial

Author: Pingping Sun1, Shuaipan Zhang2,3, Linhong Jiang1, Zhenzhen Ma4, Chongjie Yao2,3, Qingguang Zhu2,5, Min Fang2,5
1 School of Rehabilitation Science, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai, China.
2 Tuina Department, Yueyang Hospital of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai, China.
3 School of Acupuncture-Moxibustion and Tuina, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai, China.
4 Longhua Hospital, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai, China.
5 Department of Tuina Research, Research Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Shanghai, Shanghai, China.
Conference/Journal: Front Aging Neurosci
Date published: 2022 Aug 10
Other: Volume ID: 14 , Pages: 956316 , Special Notes: doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2022.956316. , Word Count: 347

Although Traditional Chinese Yijinjing Qigong Exercise (YJJQE) as mind-body intervention is popularly used among adults to ameliorate depressive symptoms in China, no randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are available to evaluate the effects of YJJQE in patients with poststroke depression (PSD). This study aims to explore the clinical efficacy and the neurological and psychiatric mechanism in brain network functional connectivity underlying electroencephalography (EEG).

Materials and methods:
A total of 60 patients, diagnosed with mild PSD, were randomly (1:1) assigned to YJJQE group (n = 30) and control group of routine segmental rehabilitation training group (n = 30) for a 60-min exercise session once a day for 3 weeks. All outcome measures were collected at baseline and 3-weeks ending intervention. The primary outcome was the 24-item Hamilton Depression Scale (HAMD-24) score, evaluation at more time points for 1 month of follow-up. The secondary outcomes were EEG data in four frequency domains (δ, θ, α, and β), global efficiency (GE), local efficiency (LE), GE/LE curve [areas under the curve (AUC)], Phase Lag Index (PLI), (HAMD-24) Score and EEG correlation analysis.

All patients showed no significant differences in baseline data. After 3 weeks and 1 month of follow-up, the YJJQE group demonstrated significant decreasing changes compared to the control group on the HAMD-24 scores (p < 0.001). Furthermore, the YJJQE group also showed a significant reduction in θ wave, and an increase in both GE and LE. Compared to the control group, the YJJQE Qigong group showed significantly greater functional connectivity in the δ, θ, and β frequency bands in the brain network of the degree of phase synchronization (p < 0.001). HAMD-24 Score and EEG correlation analysis negative correlation in the Qigong group θ wave (p < 0.001).

Our findings demonstrated that YJJQE is estimated to effectively alleviate the depressed mood of patients with PSD by promoting the efficiency in information transmission of network functional connectivity and its integration ability in different brain regions. Therefore, the YJJQE would be useful as a non-pharmacological treatment to prevent PSD.

Clinical trial registration:
[http://www.chictr.org.cn/showproj.aspx?proj=55789], identifier [ChiCTR2000035588].

Keywords: EEG; Yijinjing Qigong exercise; brain functional connectivity network; poststroke depression; traditional exercise.

PMID: 36034130 PMCID: PMC9400391 DOI: 10.3389/fnagi.2022.956316