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Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2011 Jul;26(7):733-40. doi: 10.1002/gps.2602. Epub 2010 Dec 9.

Interim follow-up of a randomized controlled trial comparing Chinese style mind body (Tai Chi) and stretching exercises on cognitive function in subjects at risk of progressive cognitive decline.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, China. cwlam@cuhk.edu.hk

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

We reported the interim findings of a randomized controlled trial (RCT) to examine the effects of a mind body physical exercise (Tai Chi) on cognitive function in Chinese subjects at risk of cognitive decline.

SUBJECTS:

389 Chinese older persons with either a Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR 0.5) or amnestic-MCI participated in an exercise program. The exercise intervention lasted for 1 year; 171 subjects were trained with 24 forms simplified Tai Chi (Intervention, I) and 218 were trained with stretching and toning exercise (Control, C). The exercise comprised of advised exercise sessions of at least three times per week.

RESULTS:

At 5th months (2 months after completion of training), both I and C subjects showed an improvement in global cognitive function, delayed recall and subjective cognitive complaints (paired t-tests, p < 0.05). Improvements in visual spans and CDR sum of boxes scores were observed in I group (paired t-tests, p < 0.001). Three (2.2%) and 21(10.8%) subjects from the I and C groups progressed to dementia (Pearson chi square = 8.71, OR = 5.34, 95% CI 1.56-18.29). Logistic regression analysis controlled for baseline group differences in education and cognitive function suggested I group was associated with stable CDR (OR = 0.14, 95%CI = 0.03-0.71, p = 0.02).

CONCLUSIONS:

Our interim findings showed that Chinese style mind body (Tai Chi) exercise may offer specific benefits to cognition, potential clinical interests should be further explored with longer observation period.

PMID:
21495078
DOI:
10.1002/gps.2602
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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