Effect of 12-week Tai Chi Chuan exercise on peripheral nerve modulation in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus
Jen-Wen Hung, Chia-Wei Liou, Pei-Wen Wang, Shu-Hui Yeh, Li-Wei Lin, Sing-Kai Lo, Fu-Mian Tsai
Objective: To examine the effect of tai chi chuan exercise on peripheral nerve modulation in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Design: Parallel group comparative study with a pre- and post- design.
Subjects: Twenty-eight participants with diabetes mellitus and 32 healthy adult controls from communities in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
Methods: Cheng’s tai chi chuan, 3 times a week for 12 weeks. Fasting blood glucose levels, insulin resistance index and nerve conduction studies were measured.
Results: A 12-week tai chi chuan programme significantly improved fasting blood glucose (p = 0.035) and increased nerve conduction velocities in all nerves tested (p = 0.046, right; p = 0.041, left) in diabetic patients. Tai chi chuan exercise did not advance the nerve conduction velocities of normal adults; however, it significantly improved the motor nerve conduction velocities of bilateral median and tibial nerves, and distal sensory latencies of bilateral ulnar nerves in diabetic patients. Tai chi chuan exercise had no significant effect on amplitudes of all nerves tested in diabetic patients.
Conclusions: Results from this study suggest that fasting blood glucose and peripheral nerve conduction velocities in diabetic patients can be improved by 12 weeks tai chi chuan exercise. A further larger randomized controlled clinical trial with longer follow-up time is needed.
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