Tai chi plus drugs improves geriatric depression

A US team has found that the use of tai chi alongside drug therapy may provide additional improvements in clinical outcomes in the treatment of geriatric depression. The clinicians recruited 112 older adults with major depression and treated them with escitalopram (Lexapro) for four weeks. Seventy-three partial responders to escitalopram then continued to receive the drug daily and in addition were randomly assigned to 10 weeks of either Tai Chi Chih (TCC) or health education (HE) for two hours per week. Subjects receiving escitalopram plus TCC were more likely to show greater reduction of depressive symptoms and to achieve remission of depression, compared with those receiving escitalopram and HE. Subjects in the TCC group also showed significantly greater improvements in physical and cognitive functioning, along with a decline in blood levels of the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein, compared with the control group. (Complementary use of tai chi chih augments escitalopram treatment of geriatric depression: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2011 Oct;19(10):839-50).


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