Can Tai Chi Slow Down Dementia?

Tai Chi has several benefits, including improving balance and flexibility, and it helps reduce agitation and pain in patients. It is a very active form of exercise that requires the participant to cross the midline. In this way, it unites the cognitive and motor parts of the brain.

It helps improve the speed of information processing, attention, and memory for current tasks, which are all crucial for people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and beginning dementia. 

The low-impact aerobic activity improves physical health and coordination. In addition, it is beneficial for individuals with age-related conditions, such as arthritis and muscle weakness. 

Asian old senior workout exercise and doing yoga at home

Researchers have investigated whether Tai Chi can slow down the onset of dementia and improve cognition. Although the evidence is still preliminary, Tai Chi may improve cognitive abilities. It seems effective for those with MCI and beginning Alzheimer’s disease. It may delay the onset of dementia and increase brain performance.  

A randomized controlled trial in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease in 2019 introduced a Tai Chi program three times a week for ten months to 40people with mild symptoms of dementia, while the control group continued receiving routine treatments. All participants were assessed for cognitive function, behavior/mood, and activities of daily living at baseline, five months, and ten months after the trial started. The results showed that the Tai Chi group scored clinically better in Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI), and Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS). The researchers concluded that Tai Chi helps improve cognitive function (MoCA; NPI) and mental well-being (GDS) for adults with mild dementia.

While more research is needed, the preliminary results are encouraging and suggest that Tai Chi can slow down the progression of dementia. It can also help those worried about the disease because of their family history, keeping their minds healthy, and preventing cognitive impairment.

 The practice also has other positive effects. It enhances the brain’s spatial orientation, memory, and coordination.

The best part is that it is possible to start at any age, regardless of your fitness level. It can be learned at home or as a supplement to your training routine. It is recommended for all ages and fitness levels. 

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