Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

LSU professor uses tai chi to fight degenerative nerve disease

25.01.2007
Peripheral neuropathy is a degenerative nerve disease with no cure and few effective treatment options – until now. Li Li, professor of kinesiology at LSU, is conducting a study into the benefits of tai chi for elderly peripheral neuropathy patients. So far, those practicing tai chi show far greater levels of improvement that those pursuing more traditional methods of treatment.

Test results prove tai chi is more than just a mind game or a placebo it really works. Li's group conducts periodic scientific and medical testing to track each person's progress as they continue in the program. Other, more traditional methods of treatment, including walking and light machines, are also studied to compare the results to those gained from tai chi, but so far it is still the undisputed winner, producing improved flexibility, sensation and overall health.

Most patients report a significant decrease in falls, increased confidence walking and standing and are able to stop using walkers or canes after consistent and extensive participation.

The study, backed by little to no funding, started out in the summer of 2004 and was slated to last only a few months. But participants felt such improvement that they refused to give it up. So, in the fall of 2005, the study resumed with great anticipation and with funding from LSU s Department of Kinesiology. What was once a simple comparison between two forms of exercise walking and tai chi has now developed into a full-fledged study, utilizing the expertise of biomechanists, psychologists, physiologists and many others in order to gain a better understanding of the actual impact this exercise produces.

The program includes approximately 75 individuals, with breakaway groups meeting up to three times a week for lessons. Thomas Yajun, a tai chi master who moved to the United States only three years ago knowing little to no English, leads the classes through their routines, which take into consideration the group's general level of mobility. As they become more comfortable and gain more mobility, Yajun pushes them farther, constantly expanding their boundaries. "People wouldn't come if it wasn t doing something," Li said. "I mean, some of these people travel 50 to 100 miles round trip just to make it to our classes. For many of them, if they couldn t come to our sessions, which are offered free of charge, they couldn't afford to go anywhere else."

There are more than 150 people in the Baton Rouge area waiting join Li's study. But with only LSU's Department of Kinesiology sponsoring the program, it cannot support any additional participants. Parking and facility space are already posing a problem. Li hopes to receive funding in the near future that will allow him to expand the program so that it can help others fight back against the pain of peripheral neuropathy.

"I have really been helped by the program. My legs felt like they had bands around them and my feet would burn almost constantly. Since I've been here [approximately nine months], I've had only two episodes of severe burning and the bands, where as it was on a daily basis before," said Marian King, who, prior to joining the program was forced to stop working due to increasing difficulty with walking and standing.

"We're seeing great results, and we're very excited," Li said. "Some people started the program unable to stand, even with assistance, for more than five minutes. Today, these same people have no trouble standing independently."

"I was falling down in the house a lot. Sometimes I would fall down just by tripping. It's [tai chi] been a real improvement," said John Liebert, who only recently joined the program. "I fall down far less, and that's the big issue with me. It's not going to cure the disease, but it was never intended to be a cure. It has definitely helped my lifestyle. It's been a real improvement."

Ashley Berthelot | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.lsu.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Researchers show p300 protein may suppress leukemia in MDS patients
28.03.2017 | University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

nachricht When writing interferes with hearing
28.03.2017 | Université de Genève

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers create artificial materials atom-by-atom

28.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers show p300 protein may suppress leukemia in MDS patients

28.03.2017 | Health and Medicine

Asian dust providing key nutrients for California's giant sequoias

28.03.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>