Tai Chi improves cognitive function in dementia patients

Background: Studies show that Tai Chi, a traditional Chinese mind-body exercise, has the potential to improve cognitive and physical function among the elderly. However, debates continue about its effectiveness among persons with dementia (PWD).

Primary study objective: This study assessed the effectiveness of Tai Chi in improving cognitive, physical, and emotional function among PWDs.

Methods: We conducted a systematic review of research on online databases (MEDLINE, EMBASE, Pubmed, and Cochrane Library) published up to April 2021. Relevant randomized clinical trials (RCTs) were reviewed and analyzed. A random-effect model was used to evaluate the pooled mean difference values.

Intervention: The individuals in the intervention group practiced Tai Chi exercises in addition to their regular care, while the individuals in the control group continued their usual care.

Primary outcome measures: We focus on three outcome measures: the Mini-mental State Examination (MMSE), Timed Up and Go (TUG), and Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) scores.

Results: Seven studies (N = 616) were included in the meta-analysis. Our results show that Tai Chi can improve cognitive function in PWDs (P = .007, SMD = 0.27; 95% CI, 0.08 to 0.47). However, Tai Chi might not improve the TUG (P = .25, SMD = -0.64; 95% CI, -1.74 to 0.46) and GDS (P = .61; SMD = -0.36; 95% CI -2.00 to 1.17) functions.

Conclusions: The results suggest that Tai Chi can help improve cognitive function among PWDs, but it has no physical and emotional benefits as assessed using the TUG and GDS scales, respectively.

Reference: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35839111/

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About Attilio

Doctor of Chinese medicine, acupuncture expert and author of My Fertility Guide and My Pregnancy Guide.

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