Mind-body exercise yields cognitive benefit in older adults

  • Wu C & al.
  • J Am Geriatr Soc
  • 18 Dec 2018

  • curated by Susan London
  • Clinical Essentials
Access to the full content of this site is available only to registered healthcare professionals. Access to the full content of this site is available only to registered healthcare professionals.

Takeaway

  • Among older adults with or without cognitive impairment, mind-body exercises (tai chi, yoga, and dance) were safe and improved measures of cognition, but benefit was significant only at moderate intensity.

Why this matters

  • Increasing population of older adults.
  • Lack of effective treatments for dementia.

Key results

  • Compared with control, mind-body exercises were superior for improving:
    • Global cognition (mean difference, 0.92; P=.002);
    • Cognitive flexibility (mean difference, –8.80; P=.007);
    • Working memory (mean difference, 0.32; P=.05);
    • Verbal fluency (standardized mean difference, 0.27; P=.003);
    • Learning (standardized mean difference, 0.24; P=.001).
  • No significant benefit for processing speed.
  • Global cognition significantly better with moderate exercise intensity (60-120 minutes weekly) (mean difference, 1.15; P=.006) but not with lower or higher intensity.
  • Adverse events:
    • 6 trials reported none;
    • 1 reported groin muscle strain with yoga;
    • 1 reported fall with injury with control;
    • 1 reported 2 minor musculoskeletal injuries with tai chi.

Study design

  • Systematic review and meta-analysis of 32 randomized controlled trials among 3624 older adults with or without impairment.
  • Main outcomes: measures of cognitive function.
  • Funding: National Natural Science Foundation of China; Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong Province.

Limitations

  • Heterogeneity across trials.
  • Lack of blinding in most.

Please confirm your acceptance

To gain full access to GPnotebook please confirm:

By submitting here you confirm that you have accepted Terms of Use and Privacy Policy of GPnotebook.

Submit