A recent study published in Annals of Internal Medicine found that practicing tai chi may help slow age-related cognitive decline and protect against dementia. The study included around 300 adults in their mid-70s who reported having worsening memory. Participants took a cognitive test called the Montreal Cognitive Assessment at the start of the study, with an average score of 25 out of 30, indicating mild impairment.
Those who practiced a simplified form of tai chi twice a week for 6 months improved their score by 1.5 points, effectively giving themselves 3 more years before significant decline. A more challenging form of tai chi improved scores even more. According to the researchers, tai chi’s combination of physical activity and memorization of movements provides cognitive benefits.
The study adds to existing evidence on tai chi’s advantages, including better balance and fall prevention. However, most participants were non-Hispanic white and college educated, so further research is needed on its effects in the broader population. Still, the findings suggest making tai chi more accessible could help address age-related cognitive impairment, which affects 1 in 5 adults by age 65.
Read the full article here. (Source: NPR Morning Edition)