Tai Chi Chuan and Baduanjin Increase Grey Matter Volume in Older Adults: A Brain Imaging Study.

Author: Tao J1,2,3, Liu J1,2, Liu W1,2, Huang J1,2, Xue X2,4, Chen X5, Wu J1, Zheng G1, Chen B4, Li M4, Sun S3, Jorgenson K3, Lang C3, Hu K1, Chen S1, Chen L1,2, Kong J3
1College of Rehabilitation Medicine, Fujian University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Fuzhou, China.
2Fujian Key Laboratory of Rehabilitation Technology, Fuzhou, China.
3Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, MA, USA.
4Affiliated Rehabilitation Hospital, Fujian University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Fuzhou, China.
5The School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.
Conference/Journal: J Alzheimers Dis.
Date published: 2017 Aug 30
Other: Special Notes: doi: 10.3233/JAD-170477. [Epub ahead of print] , Word Count: 187

The aim of this study is to investigate and compare how 12-weeks of Tai Chi Chuan and Baduanjin exercise can modulate brain structure and memory function in older adults. Magnetic resonance imaging and memory function measurements (Wechsler Memory Scale-Chinese revised, WMS-CR) were applied at both the beginning and end of the study. Results showed that both Tai Chi Chuan and Baduanjin could significantly increase grey matter volume (GMV) in the insula, medial temporal lobe, and putamen after 12-weeks of exercise. No significant differences were observed in GMV between the Tai Chi Chuan and Baduanjin groups. We also found that compared to healthy controls, Tai Chi Chuan and Baduanjin significantly improved visual reproduction subscores on the WMS-CR. Baduanjin also improved mental control, recognition, touch, and comprehension memory subscores of the WMS-CR compared to the control group. Memory quotient and visual reproduction subscores were both associated with GMV increases in the putamen and hippocampus. Our results demonstrate the potential of Tai Chi Chuan and Baduanjin exercise for the prevention of memory deficits in older adults.

KEYWORDS: Aging; Baduanjin; Tai Chi Chuan; memory; mind-body exercise; voxel-based morphometry

PMID: 28869478 DOI: 10.3233/JAD-170477