Harvard Medical School publication reports that Tai Chi can make the mind sharper.
Earlier this year a report in Healthbeat a publication of Harvard Medical School claimed that Tai Chi improve cognitive function and allows a sharper mind. It reported that changes in brain function start at around age 50. These can affect memory and thought processes such as being able to perform multiple tasks, process information rapidly and focus on details. By age 70 one in six people has mild cognitive impairment, which may progress to Alzheirmer’s disease.
It further stated that up until 20 years ago, it was believed that the brain only produced new cells early in life. However, recent research show that the brain has the ability to change throughout an entire life span, growing new cells, making new connections and even increasing in size. These changes improve cognition.
A meta-analysis of 20 studies on Tai Chi and cognition, showed Tai Chi to improve the ability to perform multiple tasks, process information rapidly and focus on details in people without any cognitive decline. In those with mild cognitive impairment, Tai Chi slowed the progression to dementia more than other types of exercise and improved thought processes.
In one study, researchers had nearly 400 Chinese men and women with some cognitive impairment perform either Ti Chi or a stretching and toning program three times a week. After one year, the Tai Chi group showed greater improvements and only 2% progressed to dementia.
In another study, Tai Chi outperformed walking. After 40 weeks of either Tai Chi, walking, social interaction or no intervention, researchers compared MRI images and found that brain volume increased the most in the Tai Chi Group. They also performed better on cognitive tests.