Listed in Issue 248


LANZA and COLLEAGUES, 1 Oasi Research Institute - IRCCS, Troina, Italy. Electronic address: ; 2. School of Human and Social Science, University "Kore" of Enna, Enna, Italy; 3. Centro diurno Alzheimer, Ospedale "Michele Chiello", ASP 4, Piazza Armerina, Italy; 4. School of Human and Social Science, University "Kore" of Enna, Enna, Italy; Department of Clinical and Molecular Bio-Medicine, Endocrinology Unit, University of Catania "Garibaldi-Nesima Medical Center", Catania, Italy; 5 Spinal Unit, Emergency Hospital "Cannizzaro", Catania, Italy; 6. Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences and Advanced Technologies, Section of Neurosciences, Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria Policlinico Vittorio Emanuele, Catania, Italy; 7. School of Human and Social Science, University "Kore" of Enna, Enna, Italy; Centro Scienze dell'Invecchiamento e Medicina Traslazionale - CeSI-Met, Chieti, Italy evaluated Shiatsu in Alzheimer’s patients as an option in treating depression.


Among the complementary and alternative medicine, Shiatsu might represent a feasible option for depression in Alzheimer's disease (AD). We evaluated Shiatsu on mood, cognition, and functional independence in patients undergoing physical activity.


Design: Single-blind randomized controlled study. Setting: Dedicated Community Center for patients with AD. Interventions: AD patients with depression were randomly assigned to the "active group" (Shiatsu + physical activity) or the "control group" (physical activity alone). Shiatsu was performed by the same therapist once a week for ten months. Main Outcome Measures: Global cognitive functioning (Mini Mental State Examination - MMSE), depressive symptoms (Geriatric Depression Scale - GDS), and functional status (Activity of Daily Living - ADL, Instrumental ADL - IADL) were assessed before and after the intervention.


The Authors found a within-group improvement of MMSE, ADL, and GDS in the active group. However, the analysis of differences before and after the interventions showed a statistically significant decrease of GDS score only in the active group.


The combination of Shiatsu and physical activity improved depression in AD patients compared to physical activity alone. The pathomechanism might involve neuroendocrine-mediated effects of Shiatsu on neural circuits implicated in mood and affect regulation.


Lanza G1, Centonze SS2, Destro G3, Vella V4, Bellomo M2, Pennisi M5, Bella R6, Ciavardelli D7. Shiatsu as an adjuvant therapy for depression in patients with Alzheimer's disease: A pilot study. Complement Ther Med. 38:74-78. DOI:10.1016/j.ctim.2018.04.013 . Epub 2018 May 5. Jun 2018.


Further research is warranted to study the effect of Shiatsu for depression in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

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