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The effectiveness of Tai Chi for short-term cognitive function improvement in the early stages of dementia in the elderly: a systematic literature review

Authors Lim KHL, Pysklywec A, Plante M, Demers L

Received 24 January 2019

Accepted for publication 6 April 2019

Published 8 May 2019 Volume 2019:14 Pages 827—839


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker

Karine Huy-Leng Lim,1 Alex Pysklywec,2 Michelle Plante,3 Louise Demers3,4

1Centre Intégré Universitaire de Sante at Service Sociaux du Nord de l‘île de Montréal, Montréal, QC, Canada; 2Department of Geography and Planning, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON, Canada; 3Centre de Recherche de l’In Université de Montréalstitut Universitaire de Gériatrie de Montréal, Montréal, QC, Canada; 4École de Réadaptation, Université de Montréal, Montréal, QC, Canada

Purpose: This systematic review examines intervention studies using Tai Chi in the early stages of dementia to determine the effectiveness of Tai Chi for the short-term improvement of cognitive functions for elderly persons with the disease.
Methods: A keyword search was done in PubMed/MEDLINE, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), Excerpta Medica Database (EMBASE), and Cochrane Library databases using keywords such as Tai Chi, Dementia*, and cognition. A secondary search strategy consisting of a manual search in the reference lists of selected articles was also used.
Results: A total of nine studies were reviewed including six randomized controlled trials, two non-randomized controlled trials, and one non-randomized prospective study. The studies suggest Tai Chi has impacts on global cognitive functions, visuospatial skills, semantic memory, verbal learning/memory, and self-perception of memory. The effects of Tai Chi on overall cognition for people with mild cognitive impairment are comparable to those in control groups which engaged in exercise.
Conclusion: The studies reviewed affirm the potential of Tai Chi to improve short-term cognitive function in the elderly at the onset of dementia.

Keywords: behavioral intervention, cognition, dementia, older adult, Tai chi, systematic review

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