The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Targeted exercise programs in geriatric institutionalized people

    Researchers from Faculté des Sciences du Sport, in Bordeaux, France compared the response to 2 exercise programs vs usual care.

    First, the details.

    • 160 elderly institutionalized people were randomly assigned to a treatment group for 6 months.
      • Adapted tai chi program (4 times 30 minutes/week)
      • Cognition-action program (2 times 30 to 45 minutes/week) that focused primarily on an adapted guidance of patient-centered communication skills
      • Usual care
    • Changes in health-related quality of life based on activities of daily living and Neuropsychiatric Inventory scores after 12 months.

    And, the results.

    • The control group experienced a decline in activities of daily activities, which did not differ from the adapted tai chi and cognition-action groups.
    • The total Neuropsychiatric Inventory score worsened significantly in the control group, while it was unchanged or improved in the treatment groups.
    • Differences between the cognition-action group and control group were significant.
    • Neuropsychiatric diagnosis subgroups (such as dementia and psychosis) did not change with any treatment.

    The bottom line?

    The authors concluded, “Adapted exercise programs can slow down the decline in health-related quality of life among heterogeneous, institutionalized elderly persons.

    The results reported here are marginal from a practical point of view.

    However, others have presented evidence that tai chi, and keeping active have benefits.

    3/25/10 20:23 JR

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