Mental and physical activities delay cognitive decline in seniors

Hong Kong researchers have found that taking part in mental and physical activities can delay cognitive decline in seniors with dementia. One hundred and ten older adults suffering from at least very mild dementia were randomised to one of three conditions; mahjong (cognitive stimulation), tai chi (physical exercise) and simple handicrafts (control). Activities were conducted three times per week for 12 weeks. The results of various cognitive tests performed at baseline, three months (post-treatment), and six and nine month follow-up showed that control participants deteriorated, while mahjong and tai chi participants maintained their abilities over time, with the treatment effect increasing as time progressed. (Mental and Physical Activities Delay Cognitive Decline in Older Persons With Dementia. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2012 Nov 5. [Epub ahead of print]).


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