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Explore (NY). 2018 Sep;14(5):352-356. doi: 10.1016/j.explore.2018.04.007. Epub 2018 Jul 20.

Cognition and brain function in elderly Tai Chi practitioners: A case-control study.

Author information

1
Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein (HIAE), Av. Albert Einstein, 627/701 - bloco A - 2(o)ss - CEP 05601-901, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.
2
Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein (HIAE), Av. Albert Einstein, 627/701 - bloco A - 2(o)ss - CEP 05601-901, São Paulo, SP, Brazil; Sports Center of Universidade de São Paulo (CEPEUSP), Praça Prof. Rubião Meira, 61 - CEP 05508-110, Vila Universitaria, São Paulo, SP, Brazil. Electronic address: danyoga@gmail.com.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To compare cognition and brain function in elderly Tai Chi and Water Aerobics practitioners.

METHODS:

Eight Tai Chi (TC) and 8 Water Aerobics (WA) practitioners matched by gender, education and age underwent neuropsychological and fMRI scan during attention (Stroop Word Color Task) and working memory (N Back) tasks.

RESULTS:

Groups were similar for demographic and cognitive variables. Besides anxiety (smaller in TC group), there were no differences between groups in neuropsychological variables. During the Stroop Word Color Task, TC group had smaller brain activation in the right intracalcarine cortex, lateral occipital cortex, and occipital pole, than WA. During N back, TC group presented smaller brain activation in the right frontal pole and superior frontal gyrus.

CONCLUSION:

Despite the small number of participants in this preliminary study, both groups had similar cognitive performance, however the Tai Chi group required less brain activation to perform the attention and memory tasks, therefore they may have a more efficient cognitive performance than Water Aerobics group.

KEYWORDS:

Elders; Gait; Magnetic resonance; Neuropsychological test; Tai chi

PMID:
30122327
DOI:
10.1016/j.explore.2018.04.007
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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