Effects of Exergaming-Based Tai Chi on Cognitive Function and Dual-Task Gait Performance in Older Adults With Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Randomized Control Trial

Author: Chien-Liang Liu1,2,3, Fang-Yu Cheng4, Min-Ju Wei5, Ying-Yi Liao6,7
Affiliation: <sup>1</sup> Department of Neurology, Taipei City Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan. <sup>2</sup> Dementia Center, Taipei City Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan. <sup>3</sup> General Education Center, University of Taipei, Taipei, Taiwan. <sup>4</sup> Institute of Long-Term Care, Mackay Medical College, Taipei, Taiwan. <sup>5</sup> Department of Rehabilitation, Cheng Hsin General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan. <sup>6</sup> Department of Gerontological Health Care, National Taipei University of Nursing and Health Science, Taipei, Taiwan. <sup>7</sup> Department of Teaching and Research, Taipei City Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan.
Conference/Journal: Front Aging Neurosci
Date published: 2022 Mar 15
Other: Volume ID: 14 , Pages: 761053 , Special Notes: doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2022.761053. , Word Count: 275

Declined cognitive function interferes with dual-task walking ability and may result in falls in older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). The mind-body exercise, Tai Chi (TC), improves cognition and dual-task ability. Exergaming is low-cost, safe, highly scalable, and feasible. Whether the effects of exergaming-based TC is beneficial than traditional TC has not been investigated yet.

The objective of this study was to investigate effects of exergaming-based TC on cognitive function and dual-task walking among older adults with MCI.

Fifty patients with MCI were randomly assigned to an exergaming-based TC (EXER-TC) group, a traditional TC (TC) group, or a control group. The EXER-TC and TC groups received 36 training sessions (three, 50-min sessions per week) during a 12-week period. The control group received no intervention and were instructed to maintain their usual daily physical activities. The outcome variables measured included those related to cognitive function, dual-task cost (DTC), and gait performance.

The EXER-TC and TC groups performed better than the control group on the Chinese version of the Stroop Color and Word Test, the Trail Making Test Parts A and B, the one-back test, gait speed, and DTC of gait speed in cognitive dual-task conditions after training. However, there were no significant differences between the EXER-TC and TC groups. Compared with the control group, only the EXER-TC group experienced beneficial effects for the Montreal Cognitive Assessment.

EXER-TC was comparable to traditional TC for enhancement of dual-task gait performance and executive function. These results suggested that the EXER-TC approach has potential therapeutic use in older adults with MCI.

Keywords: MCI; cognition; dual task gait; exergaming; tai chi.

PMID: 35370622 PMCID: PMC8965318 DOI: 10.3389/fnagi.2022.761053