Objectively using MRI imaging, this study showed that Qigong and Tai Chi can increase gray matter in the brain in older adults. It showed that there truly are physical changes in the brain with qigong, when practiced for twelve weeks. The first article’s results demonstrate the potential of Tai Chi Chuan and Baduanjin exercise for the prevention of memory deficits in older adults. The second article’s findings demonstrate the potential of Tai Chi Chuan and Baduanjin exercises in preventing cognitive decline.
Tai Chi Chuan and Baduanjin Increase Grey Matter Volume in Older Adults: A Brain Imaging Study.
Tao J, Liu J, Liu W, Huang J,, Xue X, Chen X, Wu J, Zheng G, Chen B, Li M, Sun S, Jorgenson K, Lang C, Hu K, Chen S, Chen L, Kong J.
J Alzheimers Dis. 2017;60(2):389-400. doi: 10.3233/JAD-170477.
The aim of this study is to investigate and compare how 12-weeks of Tai Chi Chuan and Baduanjin exercise can modulate brain structure and memory function in older adults. Magnetic resonance imaging and memory function measurements (Wechsler Memory Scale-Chinese revised, WMS-CR) were applied at both the beginning and end of the study. Results showed that both Tai Chi Chuan and Baduanjin could significantly increase grey matter volume (GMV) in the insula, medial temporal lobe, and putamen after 12-weeks of exercise. No significant differences were observed in GMV between the Tai Chi Chuan and Baduanjin groups. We also found that compared to healthy controls, Tai Chi Chuan and Baduanjin significantly improved visual reproduction subscores on the WMS-CR. Baduanjin also improved mental control, recognition, touch, and comprehension memory subscores of the WMS-CR compared to the control group. Memory quotient and visual reproduction subscores were both associated with GMV increases in the putamen and hippocampus. Our results demonstrate the potential of Tai Chi Chuan and Baduanjin exercise for the prevention of memory deficits in older adults.
PMID: 28869478 DOI:10.3233/JAD-170477
Tai Chi Chuan and Baduanjin practice modulates functional connectivity of the cognitive control network in older adults.
Tao J, Chen X, Egorova N, Liu J, Xue X, Wang Q, Zheng G, Li M, Hong W, Sun S, Chen L, Kong J.
Sci Rep. 2017 Feb 7;7:41581. doi: 10.1038/srep41581.
Cognitive impairment is one of the most common problems affecting older adults. In this study, we investigated whether Tai Chi Chuan and Baduanjin practice can modulate mental control function and the resting state functional connectivity (rsFC) of the cognitive control network in older adults. Participants in the two exercise groups practiced either Tai Chi Chuan or Baduanjin for 12 weeks, and those in the control group received basic health education. Memory tests and fMRI scans were conducted at baseline and at the end of the study. Seed-based (bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, DLPFC) rsFC analysis was performed. We found that compared to the controls, 1) both Tai Chi Chuan and Baduanjin groups demonstrated significant improvements in mental control function; 2) the Tai Chi Chuan group showed a significant decrease in rsFC between the DLPFC and the left superior frontal gyrus (SFG) and anterior cingulate cortex; and 3) the Baduanjin group showed a significant decrease in rsFC between the DLPFC and the left putamen and insula. Mental control improvement was negatively associated with rsFC DLPFC-putamen changes across all subjects. These findings demonstrate the potential of Tai Chi Chuan and Baduanjin exercises in preventing cognitive decline.