Mitigating effects and mechanisms of Tai Chi on mild cognitive impairment in the elderly

Author: Xin Wang1, Keyi Si2, Wei Gu1, Xueqiang Wang3,4
Affiliation: <sup>1</sup> Faculty of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Naval Medical University, Shanghai, China. <sup>2</sup> Department of Military Health Statistics, Naval Medical University, Shanghai, China. <sup>3</sup> Department of Sport Rehabilitation, Shanghai University of Sport, Shanghai, China. <sup>4</sup> Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Shanghai Shangti Orthopaedic Hospital, Shanghai, China.
Conference/Journal: Front Aging Neurosci
Date published: 2023 Jan 6
Other: Volume ID: 14 , Pages: 1028822 , Special Notes: doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2022.1028822. , Word Count: 200

Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a major public health concern that endangers health and decreases the quality of life of the elderly around the world. A recent clinical guideline has recommended regular exercise (twice per week) for patients with MCI as part of an overall approach to management. Tai Chi, a form of light-to-moderate-intensity mind-body exercise, is particularly suitable for seniors. This review aims to summarize epidemiological studies related to the effects of Tai Chi on symptom remission in older adults with MCI and reveal the potential mechanisms. Evidence suggested that Tai Chi can improve cognitive functions and alleviate the accompanying symptoms of MCI in the elderly potentially by activating the expression of signals in different brain regions, altering their connectivity, increasing the brain volume, and modulating brain-derived neurotropic and inflammation factors. Studies comparing various types of Tai Chi may contribute to the identification of paradigms that have appropriate intensities and difficulty and exert good effects on older people with MCI. In addition, studies are warranted to determine the frequency and duration of training that can optimize the beneficial effects of Tai Chi on MCI.

Keywords: Tai Chi; cognitive function; elderly; mechanism; mild cognitive impairment.

PMID: 36760710 PMCID: PMC9906996 DOI: 10.3389/fnagi.2022.1028822