HONG KONG, March 31, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The latest research shows that Tai Chi training is conducive to the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. Professor Shengdi Chen from the Neurology Department of Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine has just published papers in the international authoritative medical journals, Translational Neurodegeneration and Alzheimer’s & Dementia, indicating that long-term Tai Chi training can effectively improve the motor symptom in patients with Parkinson’s disease, and significantly delay cognitive decline in patients with mild cognitive impairment.

Professor Shengdi Chen (middle) with Sino Taiji’s Parkinson's participants
Professor Shengdi Chen (middle) with Sino Taiji’s Parkinson’s participants

This is also the scientific research achievements of the two philanthropic projects, “Tai Chi Adjuvant Therapy for Parkinson’s Disease” and “Tai Chi Training Delays Alzheimer’s Disease”, jointly launched by Fosun Foundation, Sino Taiji and the Neurology Department of Ruijin Hospital.

On 15 March 2022, the research team of Professor Shengdi Chen from the Neurology Department of Ruijin Hospital published their research results about Tai Chi enhances cognitive training effects on delaying cognitive decline in mild cognitive impairment in Alzheimer’s and Dementia journal, which is the most influential and authoritative medical journal in the field of dementia research.

Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is the prodromal stage of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and it is also the best suitable stage for intervention. It is mainly characterized with memory decline. Due to the side effects and other risks in the early use of anti-AD drugs in MCI patient, non-drug interventions such as cognitive training and physical training have attracted attention of global researchers.

The research team of Professor Shengdi Chen has been deeply engaged in the research of MCI by using non-drug intervention for a long time. With the support of Fosun Foundation and Sino Taiji, Dr. Chen and his research team performed the Tai Chi training in MCI patients for three years. The clinical studies revealed that in the first 12-month, Tai Chi combined with cognitive training and only CT training had benefit than controls. Compared with CT training, Tai Chi combined with cognitive training had additional improved effects. Besides, keeping Tai Chi combined with cognitive training for two years showed delayed decline in global cognition and memory than withdrawing Tai Chi combined with cognitive training. Functional neuroimaging (fMRI) assessment revealed that neural activity was enhanced after training, reflecting the objective effect of Tai Chi training on brain neural activity.

Professor Shengdi Chen said, this result suggests that the Tai Chi training can delay the occurrence of Alzheimer’s disease from MCI.

On 7 February 2022, another research achievement of the research team of Professor Shengdi Chen, the Fosun Foundation and Sino Taiji was published in the international journal of Translational Neurodegeneration. By exploring the mechanism of long-term Tai Chi training in improving motor symptom in patients with Parkinson’s disease, the research article titled “Mechanisms of motor symptom improvement by long-term Tai Chi training in Parkinson’s disease patients” indicates that long-term Tai Chi training can significantly improve motor symptom in patients with Parkinson’s disease. This is the second scientific research article published based on the “Tai Chi Adjuvant Therapy for Parkinson’s Disease” projects.

The “Tai Chi Adjuvant Therapy for Parkinson’s Disease” and “Tai Chi Training Delays Alzheimer’s Disease” philanthropic projects were initiated by Fosun Foundation, Sino Taiji and the research team of Professor Shengdi Chen from the Neurology Department of Ruijin Hospital in 2015 and 2018, respectively. Up to now, the “Tai Chi Adjuvant Therapy for Parkinson’s Disease” project has provided free courses for 445 patients with Parkinson’s disease, and will continue to carry out charitable Tai Chi courses for patients with Parkinson’s disease across the country. In addition, the “Tai Chi Training Delays Alzheimer’s Disease” project will launch a 5-year in-depth clinical research to recruit MCI patients in the community, and to explore the effect of longer-term Tai Chi training on MCI patients, helping more patients with MCI to improve their cognitive function and delay the occurrence of Alzheimer disease through charitable Tai Chi training projects.