Effects of a Modified Tai Chi Program on Older People with Mild Dementia: A Randomized Controlled Trial.
J Alzheimers Dis. 2019 ;72(3):947-956. PMID: 31743998
BACKGROUND: Tai Chi exercise is a non-pharmacological therapy that has received increased attention in recent years. A Tai Chi program has been specifically modified for older people with cognitive impairments by the research team.
OBJECTIVE: We aim to assess the effects of this Tai Chi program on mild dementia.
METHODS: Eighty older people with mild dementia were recruited and randomly assigned to a Tai Chi group or a control group. The Tai Chi group practiced the Tai Chi program three times a week for 10 months, while the control group continued receiving routine treatments. All participants were assessed for cognitive function, behavior/mood, and activities of daily living at baseline, 5 months, and 10 months.
RESULTS: The Tai Chi group performed better than the control group. Repeated measures ANOVA revealed a significant group×time interaction in the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA). Further analysis of sub-items of the MoCA showed a significant time effect in naming and abstraction. It was statistically significant in both main effect of time and group×time interaction in the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI) and Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS). Paired sample t test showed the Tai Chi group scored lower at 5 and 10 months in the NPI and at 10 months in the GDS compared with baseline. The Tai Chi group scored lower than the control group at 10 months in the NPI and GDS.
CONCLUSION: The results suggest this Tai Chi program may help improve cognitive function and mental well-being for older adults with mild dementia.