Tai Chi Improves Brain Metabolism and Muscle Energetics in Older Adults
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CitationLadner, Joshua. 2018. Tai Chi Improves Brain Metabolism and Muscle Energetics in Older Adults. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard Medical School.
AbstractBackground and Purpose:
Tai Chi is a mind-body exercise that has been shown to improve both mental and physical health. As a result, recent literature suggests the use of Tai Chi to treat both physical and psychological disorders. However, the underlying physiological changes have not been characterized. The aim of this pilot study is to assess the changes in brain metabolites and muscle energetics after Tai Chi training in an aging population using a combined brain-muscle magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) examination.
Six healthy older adults were prospectively recruited and enrolled into a 12-week Tai Chi program. A brain 1H MRS and a muscle 31P MRS were scanned before and after the training, and post-processed to measure N-acetylaspartate to Creatine (NAA/Cr) ratios and Phosphocreatine (PCr) recovery time. Wilcoxon signed rank tests were utilized to assess the differences between pre- and post-Tai Chi training.
A significant within-subject increase in both the NAA/Cr ratios ( p = 0.046 ) and the PCr recovery time ( p = 0.046 ) was observed between the baseline and the post-training scans. The median percentage changes were 5.38% and 16.51% for NAA/Cr and PCr recovery time, respectively.
Our pilot study demonstrates significant increase of NAA/Cr ratios in posterior cingulate gyrus and significantly improved PCr recovery rates in leg muscles in older adults following short-term Tai Chi training, and thus provides insight into the beneficial mechanisms.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:41973515