Influence of qigong on the declined intelligence of the aged

Author: Sun Fuli 1//Lei Sumping 1//Yan Yiai 1//He Qingnian 2
Affiliation: Xiyuan Hospital, China Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Beijing, China [1] //Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Beijing, China [2]
Conference/Journal: 1st World Conf Acad Exch Med Qigong
Date published: 1988
Other: Pages: 24 , Word Count: 602


Because the average life expectancy of the human beings has been increasing, the symptom of declined intelligence, which is common among the aged, brings about more and more problems for many families and society. In order to search after the role of qigong in preventing and curing the declined intelligence of the aged, we made the following researches.

1. Determination of the intelligence aging level.
We made use of the microcomputer and the method of talking between man and computer in our research. According to the characteristics of psychological indexes, which changed along with the increasing of the age, a computer program edited by BASIC was used in our test. Our test included 7 indexes of fluid intelligence: speed of mental arithmetic, digit symbol, choice reaction time, count, visual number span, tracing reaction and recognition of meaningless figures. We found out the mathematical model of the intelligence aging from 506 subjects and a measuring system for the intelligence aging level was established. It could find out the subject's aging level and mental physiological age. This method is suitable for mental workers of 16-75 years old. The measuring accuracy among the subjects of 50-70 years old is higher.

2. Cross-sectional investigation.
We tested two groups, and in each there were 48 subjects. The subjects in Group I were mental workers who had been doing the qigong exercise for some years. The subjects' conditions in Group II were just the same as Group I except the qigong exercise experience. The test result showed the qigong exercise could obviously improve people's thinking response, limb flexibility, short-term memory and attention quality and it made the average mental physiological ages 1.62 years younger than the actual ones.

3. Longitudinal observation
Among the 19 retired mental workers sticking to the qigong exercise for 6 months, we found that 3 items among their 7 indexes of fluid intelligence had been improved obviously. The mental physiological age decreased from 66.3±8.21 years (before the qigong exercise) to 65.02±2.44 years (after the qigong exercise). This result proves that qigong can really delay the intelligence decline of the aged.

4. Changes of EEG.
Through the spectral analysis and multiple stepwise regression techniques, we created the mathematics model of physiological age of the brain based on 58 subjects' characteristics of EEG parameters. We used this model to calculate the physiological age of the brain for 8 subjects who stuck to the qigong exercise. The result showed that the physiological age of the brain were younger than their actual ones.

5. Comparison with drugs benefiting intelligence.
46 subjects were divided into two groups according to their age and education background. One group took the qigong exercise. Another group took drugs benefiting intelligence (the Preserving Youth Pills). 3 months later we found that the group taking drugs obviously improved in speed of mental arithmetic, digit-symbol and choice reaction time. The mental physiological age decreased from 62.89±3.4 years (before taking drugs) to 61.00±3.50 years (after taking drugs) . The average age was 1.85 years younger than before. But all indexes and mental physiological ages in the qigong group didn’t change except the digit symbol index. This result shows that although the qigong exercise can improve intelligence of the aged, it was difficult for them to grasp the main point of the qigong exercise in short time. So qigong didn't take effect so soon as the drug. But once people grasp the main point of the qigong exercise they can get benefit for whole life. Moreover, qigong doesn't have any side-effect as some drugs do. And the environment seldom influences it as well. The qigong exercise is easy to learn and popular among people. It is an ideal way to prevent and cure the declined intelligence symptom of the aged.

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