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Keywords:

  • elder;
  • event-related potentials;
  • General Health Questionnaire;
  • Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index;
  • P300;
  • Tai Chi

Abstract

Background:  Cerebral vascular disorder (CVD) might result in a quantifiable decrease in quality of life, which is determined not only by the neurological deficits but also by impairment of cognitive functions. There are few studies that report on the cognitive effect of Tai Chi exercise (Tai Chi) on the elderly with CVD. The purpose of the present study was to examine the cognitive effect of Tai Chi on the elderly with CVD using P300 measurement, in addition to the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) and Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI).

Methods:  A total of 34 patients with CVD were recruited from outpatient Akistu-Kounoike Hospital and randomly assigned to receive Tai Chi (n= 17) or rehabilitation (n= 17) in group sessions once a week for 12 weeks. To examine the time courses of each score (P300 amplitude, P300 latency, GHQ score and PSQI score), repeated-measures analysis of variance was carried out with groups and time as factors.

Results:  For the time courses of P300 amplitudes and latencies, there were no significant effects of interaction between group and time. However, significant time-by-group interactions were found for Sleep Quality (P= 0.006), GHQ total score (P= 0.005), anxiety/insomnia score (P= 0.034), and severe depression score (P= 0.020).

Conclusions:  Tai Chi might therefore be considered a useful non-pharmacological approach, along with rehabilitation, for the maintenance of cognitive function in the elderly with CVD and might be a more useful non-pharmacological approach for the improvement of sleep quality and depressive symptoms in the elderly with CVD than rehabilitation.