Tai chi benefits cognitive function in seniors at risk of cognitive decline
Researchers at the Chinese University of Hong Kong designed a randomized controlled trial to examine the effects of tai chi on cognitive function among elderly individuals at risk of cognitive decline. 171 individuals were assigned to the tai chi group and 218 were assigned to a stretching and toning exercise control. Both groups participated in exercise sessions 3 times per week for one year.
An interim analysis found that two months post intervention both groups showed signs in improved cognitive function. The tai chi group had a statistically significant improvement in the clinical dementia rating. Of the individuals in the control group 21 progressed to dementia compared to only 3 in the tai chi group. The results suggest that tai chi may offer specific benefits to cognition.