Navigation Links
Tai Chi increases brain size, benefits cognition in randomized controlled trial of Chinese elderly

Tampa, FL (June 19, 2012) -- Scientists from the University of South Florida and Fudan University in Shanghai found increases in brain volume and improvements on tests of memory and thinking in Chinese seniors who practiced Tai Chi three times a week, reports an article published today in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.

Findings were based on an 8-month randomized controlled trial comparing those who practiced Tai Chi to a group who received no intervention. The same trial showed increases in brain volume and more limited cognitive improvements in a group that participated in lively discussions three times per week over the same time period.

Previous trials have shown increases in brain volume in people who participated in aerobic exercise, and in one of these trials, an improvement in memory was seen. However, this was the first trial to show that a less aerobic form of exercise, Tai Chi, as well as stimulating discussion led to similar increases in brain volume and improvements on psychological tests of memory and thinking.

The group that did not participate in the interventions showed brain shrinkage over the same time period, consistent with what generally has been observed for persons in their 60s and 70s.

Numerous studies have shown that dementia and the syndrome of gradual cognitive deterioration that precedes it is associated with increasing shrinkage of the brain as nerve cells and their connections are gradually lost.

"The ability to reverse this trend with physical exercise and increased mental activity implies that it may be possible to delay the onset of dementia in older persons through interventions that have many physical and mental health benefits," said lead author Dr. James Mortimer, professor of epidemiology at the University of South Florida College of Public Health.

Research suggests that aerobic exercise is associated with increased production of brain growth factors. It remains to be determined whether forms of exercise like Tai Chi that include an important mental exercise component could lead to similar changes in the production of these factors. "If this is shown, then it would provide strong support to the concept of "use it or lose it" and encourage seniors to stay actively involved both intellectually and physically," Dr. Mortimer said.

One question raised by the research is whether sustained physical and mental exercise can contribute to the prevention of Alzheimer's disease, the most common dementing illness.

"Epidemiologic studies have shown repeatedly that individuals who engage in more physical exercise or are more socially active have a lower risk of Alzheimer's disease," Dr. Mortimer said. "The current findings suggest that this may be a result of growth and preservation of critical regions of the brain affected by this illness."

Contact: James Mortimer
IOS Press

Related medicine news :

1. Study shows no evidence medical marijuana increases teen drug use
2. Haematopoietic stem cell transplantation increases survival in systemic sclerosis patients
3. Despite less play, childrens use of imagination increases over 2 decades
4. Bend Research increases hot-melt extrusion capacity
5. Tuberculosis increases the risk of lung cancer mortality in the elderly
6. Device implanted in brain has therapeutic potential for Huntingtons disease
7. This your brain on no self-control
8. Brain-Injury Recovery Varies Widely Among Children
9. Children, brain development and the criminal law
10. Researchers determine pathway for origin of most common form of brain and spinal cord tumor
11. Omega-3 Supplements May Not Aid Aging Brain
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... , ... Many people know of the common symptoms of low thyroid hormone ... But many people who find their cholesterol levels and weight are creeping up are ... if they don’t have any of the other symptoms. , Thyroid hormone plays a ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , ... November 25, 2015 , ... Students and parents ... awarded to winners of the Create Real Impact awards. California Casualty is ... help stem the tide of distracted and reckless driving, the number one killer of ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... Eric C. Seidel, DMD ... benefits of the revolutionary BIOLASE WaterLase iPlus 2.0™ system. This advanced laser technology ... by a dentist in Gettysburg, PA . From routine visits to cosmetic ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... AZ (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... Young ... 2.0™ treatments from Dr. Angela Wolfman and Dr. Kedar S. Lele, who are ... for frenectomies, cavities and fillings, the WaterLase iPlus 2.0™ system causes minimal discomfort and ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... In an article ... and variables that determine which patients are or are not eligible for bariatric surgery. ... a BMI over 40, are more than 100 pounds overweight, or have a BMI ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... November 24, 2015 Sectra (STO: ... has entered into a multi-year agreement to deploy ... investment will provide the Breast Center a future-proof platform ... (STO: SECT B) announces that Breast Center of ... deploy Breast Imaging PACS in its two freestanding imaging ...
(Date:11/24/2015)...   HeartWare International, Inc . (NASDAQ: HTWR ... technologies that are revolutionizing the treatment of advanced heart ... Doug Godshall is scheduled to present at ... on December 1, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. ET.  The ... New York . . ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , November 24, 2015 ... of the University of Bern ... Nutrition of the Bern University Hospital "Inselspital" are proud ... develop a novel generation artificial pancreas. Combining a fully ... for diabetic patients with the unequalled accuracy of an ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: