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Effects of Tai Chi Qigong on Cognitive Function in Older Adults

“Meta-Analytic Review of the effects of TaiChiChuan on Cognitive Function in Older Adults with Cognitive Impairment”

Hindawi Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Volume 2020

This article reports on a systematic and meta-analytic review of studies of the effects of TaiChiChuan on older adults with cognitive impairment.

Eight databases were researched, yielding 1,527 articles that were considered. Of those nineteen were finally included.

Age-related cognitive decline is becoming a global public health problem. It is estimated that dementia will increase from 46 million to 131 million by 2050. So far, no effective drug has been found to halt the progress of dementia.

Aerobic exercise has been shown to be an effective treatment to delay cognitive decline, but the effect of TCC has not been systematically studied.

This study analyses the effects of TCC intervention on various cognitive domains and how these are moderated by variation in the dose of physical exercise, aiming to provide a theoretical basis for accurate exercise prescription.

The conclusion is that TCC is a promising way to improve global cognitive function, memory executive function, and attention and verbal fluency of the elderly with cognitive impairment. Exercise length moderated the intervention’s influence. The optimal TCC prescription, however, remains unclear, and thus further study is needed.

Summary by Dr. Charles Garrettson, George Mason University March 2021. NQA Research Committee


Effects of Tai Chi Chuan on Cognitive Function in Older Adults with Cognitive Impairment: A Systematic and Meta-Analytic Review

Zhidong Cai,1 Wanting Jiang,1 Jilin Yin,2 Zhitong Chen,3 Jing Wang,3 and Xing WangTraditional Chinese Medicine in Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury

Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine /Volume 2020 |Article ID 6683302 |

This systematic and meta-analytic review aimed to investigate the effects of Tai Chi Chuan (TCC) on the cognitive function of the elderly with cognitive impairment and to analyze the moderators of these effects. We searched eight electronic databases for randomized controlled trials on the effects of TCC on cognitive function, published up to June 14, 2020. The PEDro scale was used to evaluate the methodological quality of the included literature. Stata14.0 software was used for meta-analysis, subgroup analysis, and publication bias testing.

A total of 19 studies and 1,970 samples were included. The methodological quality of the included literature was fair to good, and there was no publication bias.

Overall, the research shows that the effect of TCC on the elderly with cognitive impairment is statistically significant (SMD = 0.31, ).

Five of the cognitive function subdomains were significant moderators [Q (5) = 15.66, ], and the effect size (ES) was the largest for global cognitive function (SMD = 0.41), followed by executive function (SMD = 0.33), memory (SMD = 0.31), and verbal fluency (SMD = 0.27).

Regarding the exercise prescription variables, results were significantly moderated by the length of exercise training [Q (2) = 6.00, ], with ESs largest for moderate length (SMD = 0.41), followed by short length (SMD = 0.40) and long length (SMD = 0.29). However, the results were not moderated by session time or frequency.

TCC can improve multiple cognitive functions of the elderly with cognitive impairment. The intervention effects are moderated by exercise length, but not by exercise session time and frequency.