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Clin Interv Aging. 2019 May 8;14:827-839. doi: 10.2147/CIA.S202055. eCollection 2019.

The effectiveness of Tai Chi for short-term cognitive function improvement in the early stages of dementia in the elderly: a systematic literature review.

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Centre Intégré Universitaire de Sante at Service Sociaux du Nord de l'île de Montréal, Montréal, QC, Canada.
Department of Geography and Planning, Queen's University, Kingston, ON, Canada.
Centre de Recherche de l'In Université de Montréalstitut Universitaire de Gériatrie de Montréal, Montréal, QC, Canada.
École de Réadaptation, Université de Montréal, Montréal, QC, Canada.


Purpose: This systematic review examines intervention studies using Tai Chi in the early stages of dementia to determine the effectiveness of Tai Chi for the short-term improvement of cognitive functions for elderly persons with the disease. Methods: A keyword search was done in PubMed/MEDLINE, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), Excerpta Medica Database (EMBASE), and Cochrane Library databases using keywords such as Tai Chi, Dementia*, and cognition. A secondary search strategy consisting of a manual search in the reference lists of selected articles was also used. Results: A total of nine studies were reviewed including six randomized controlled trials, two non-randomized controlled trials, and one non-randomized prospective study. The studies suggest Tai Chi has impacts on global cognitive functions, visuospatial skills, semantic memory, verbal learning/memory, and self-perception of memory. The effects of Tai Chi on overall cognition for people with mild cognitive impairment are comparable to those in control groups which engaged in exercise. Conclusion: The studies reviewed affirm the potential of Tai Chi to improve short-term cognitive function in the elderly at the onset of dementia.


Tai chi; behavioral intervention; cognition; dementia; older adult; systematic review

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