Author: Ying Xu#1, Jingfang Zhu#2, Hong Liu2, Zhijie Qiu2, Mengyuan Wu2, Jiao Liu1, Jingsong Wu2, Jia Huang2, Zhizhen Liu3, Weilin Liu1, Jing Tao3
1 National-Local Joint Engineering Research Center of Rehabilitation Medicine Technology, Fujian University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Fuzhou, Fujian, China.
2 College of Rehabilitation Medicine, Fujian University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Fuzhou, Fujian, China.
3 Fujian University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Fuzhou, Fujian, China.
Conference/Journal: Front Public Health
Date published: 2023 Aug 7
Other: Volume ID: 11 , Pages: 1199246 , Special Notes: doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2023.1199246. , Word Count: 344
Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a critical stage of dementia. Previous reviews have suggested that physical exercise combined with non-invasive brain stimulation is more beneficial for improving cognitive function. However, no targeted studies have confirmed the effect of Tai Chi combined with transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) on the improvement of cognitive function in patients with MCI. Thus, this randomized trial was conducted to assess the effect of Tai Chi combined with tDCS on the cognitive performance of patients with MCI.
From April 2018 to February 2020, a randomized, single-blind clinical trial was conducted, involving 180 participants with MCI who were divided into four intervention groups: Tai Chi combined with tDCS (TCT), Tai Chi combined with sham tDCS (TCS), walking combined with tDCS (WAT), and walking combined with sham tDCS (WAS). All participants were assessed at baseline and 12 weeks for global cognitive function, memory, attention, and executive function.
At baseline, there were no significant differences in age, gender, education duration, body mass index, or the Baker Depression Inventory among the four groups (P ≥ 0.05). After 12 weeks of intervention, the TCT group showed greater improvements in MOCA scores, memory quotient scores, and digit-symbol coding task reaction time compared to the TCS, WAS, and WAT groups (P < 0.05). The TCT group also had a shorter Stroop test color reaction time compared to the WAS and WAT groups (P < 0.05), a higher increase in Auditory Verbal Learning Test-immediate recall than the TCS and WAT groups (P < 0.05), a shorter visual reaction time than the TCS group (P < 0.05), and a shorter sustained attention time compared to the WAT group (P < 0.05).
Tai Chi combined with tDCS effectively improves global cognitive performance, memory, execution function, and attention in patients with MCI. These findings suggest the potential clinical use of Tai Chi combined with tDCS as a physical exercise combined with a non-invasive brain stimulation intervention to improve cognitive function in older adults with MCI.
Clinical trial registration:
Keywords: Tai Chi; cognitive function; mild cognitive impairment; randomized clinical trial; transcranial direct current stimulation.
PMID: 37608981 PMCID: PMC10441111 DOI: 10.3389/fpubh.2023.1199246