Tai Chi Could Prevent Cognitive Decline, According to a New Research

Tai Chi Could Prevent Cognitive Decline, According to a New Research ...

Tai Chi, also known as Tai Chi Chuan, is a traditional Chinese martial art that involves slow, flowing movements combined with deep breathing and mind-body activity. Tai Chi may improve balance, flexibility, cardiovascular health, and overall well-being, according to research.

Tai Chi Chuan has been shown to be a beneficial therapy for older individuals with mild cognitive impairment and type 2 diabetes in a multicenter randomized controlled trial.

Researchers have discovered a new strategy to combat mild cognitive impairment (MCI), which is considered the transitional stage before dementia. In particular, nearly half of T2D patients reported experiencing MCI.

Researchers at the Fujian University of Traditional Chinese Medicine demonstrated that practicing a 24-form simplified version of Tai Chi Chuan improved cognitive function and physical health indicators in T2D and MCI patients. This makes Tai Chi Chuan a feasible exercise regimen to reduce the likelihood of dementia progression.

The findings have recently been published in the JAMA Network Open.

After 36 weeks, researchers concluded that the Tai Chi Chuan group showed more improvement over the fitness walking group and control group, although subtle differences between the groups were not seen until after 24 weeks, suggesting that improvement in biomarkers and cognition might not occur until after this point.

Tai Chi Chuan is more efficient than fitness walking in improving global cognition for older adults with T2D and MCI, according to our research, and it is important for the general public to learn about it.

Each group received an educational seminar on managing T2D and the benefits of diet and exercise for resolving the condition. Participants in each group, except the control group, performed either Tai Chi Chuan or fitness walking for 60 minutes three times a week, under the supervision and instruction of a medical health professional.

Changes were measured at the 24-week mark and 36-week mark using fasted blood glucose levels and other metabolic markers along with measuring Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) scores to compare cognitive function to a global scale. MoCA scores are on a scale of 0-30, with a higher score indicating higher cognitive function.

The ultimate objective is to develop a more practical Tai Chi Chuan training program for older adults with T2D and MCI, as well as to reduce the likelihood of dementia in this population.

To accomplish this goal, additional research is required. A limitation of the experiment is the short follow-up period after the study was completed, which does not provide information on the long-term value of this type of treatment. Furthermore, since both activity groups were also given educational seminars on the benefits of exercise, this may have inserted a bias into the study.

Studying the effects of Tai Chi Chuan on a larger sample size with fewer limitations may help uncover additional benefits that might apply to other groups of people who do not meet the established criteria but who may benefit from therapies that improve physical and cognitive health.

Yannan Chen, Ph.D., Jiawei Qin, Ph.D., Weilin Liu, Ph.D., Qiang Tang, Ph.D., Jinjin Liu, Ph.D., and Lidian Chen, MD, Ph.D. JAMA Network Open. 6 April 2023.

The study was sponsored by China's Ministry of Science and Technology.

You may also like: