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Tai Chi with Game Device Improves Elderly's Cognitive Functions

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March 15, 2014 -
This is a research reported in the Journal of medical Internet research in February of 2014.

BACKGROUND:

Decrease of dual-task (DT) ability is known to be one of the risk factors for falls. We developed a new game concept, Dual-Task Tai Chi (DTTC), using Microsoft's motion-capture device Kinect, and demonstrated that the DTTC test can quantitatively evaluate various functions that are known risk factors for falling in elderly adults. Moreover, DT training has been attracting attention as a way to improve balance and DT ability. However, only a few studies have reported that it improves cognitive performance.

OBJECTIVE:

The Kyoto University in Japan performed a study to demonstrate whether or not a 12-week program of DTTC training would effectively improve cognitive functions.

METHODS:

This study examined cognitive functions in community-dwelling older adults before and after 12 weeks of DTTC training or standardized training. Primary end points were based on the difference in cognitive functions between the training group and the control group. Cognitive functions were evaluated using the trail-making test and verbal fluency test.

RESULTS:

A total of 41 elderly individuals (26 in the training group and 15 in the control group) participated in this study and their cognitive functions were assessed before and after DTTC training. Significant differences were observed between the two groups with significant group x time interactions for the executive cognitive function measure, the delta-trail-making test.

CONCLUSIONS:

The results suggest that DTTC training is effective for improving executive cognitive functions.

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