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The Beneficial Effects of Mind-Body Exercises for People With Mild Cognitive Impairment: a Systematic Review With Meta-analysis

Published:April 12, 2019DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apmr.2019.03.009

      Highlights

      • A meta-analysis on 1298 adults with mild cognitive impairment was conducted.
      • The effects of mind-body exercises (MBE) on various cognitions were assessed.
      • Various MBEs, such as tai chi, were effective in enhancing numerous cognitive outcomes.

      Abstract

      Objective

      To objectively evaluate the most common forms of mind-body exercise (MBE) (tai chi, yoga, qigong) on cognitive function among people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI).

      Data Sources

      We searched 6 electronic databases (Scopus, PubMed, PsycINFO, WanFang, Web of Science, CNKI) from inception until September 2018.

      Study Selection

      Nine randomized controlled trials and 3 nonrandomized controlled trials were included for meta-analysis.

      Data Extraction

      Two researchers independently performed the literature searches, study selection, data extraction, and methodological quality assessment using the revised Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro) scale.

      Data Synthesis

      The pooled effect size (standardized mean difference [SMD]) was calculated while random-effect model was selected. Overall results of the meta-analysis (N=1298 people with MCI) indicated that MBE significantly improved attention (SMD=0.39, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.07-0.71, P=.02, I2=31.6%, n=245), short-term memory (SMD=0.74, 95% CI 0.57-0.90, P<.001, I2=0%, n=861), executive function (SMD=-0.42, 95% CI -0.63 to -0.21, P<.001, I2=38.54%, n=701), visual-spatial/executive function (SMD=0.35, 95% CI 0.07-0.64, P<.05, I2=0%, n=285), and global cognitive function (SMD=0.36, 95% CI 0.2-0.52, P<.001, I2=15.12%, n=902). However, the significant positive effect on cognitive processing speed was not observed following MBE interventions (SMD=0.31, 95% CI -0.01 to 0.63, P=.054, I2=28.66%, n=233).

      Conclusions

      Study findings of this meta-analysis suggest that MBE have the potential to improve various cognitive functions in people with MCI.

      Keywords

      List of abbreviations:

      CI (confidence interval), DSST (Digit Symbol Substitution Test), DST-B (Digit Span Test-Backward), MBE (mind-body exercise), MCI (mild cognitive impairment), MMSE (Mini-Mental State Examination), MoCA (Montreal Cognitive Assessment), RCT (randomized controlled trial), NRCT (nonrandomized controlled trial), SMD (standardized mean difference), TC (tai chi), TMT (Trail Making Test), TMT-A (Trail Making Test A), TMT-B (Trail Making Test B), TMT-B-A (Trail Making Test B-A), QG (qigong)
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