- Emerging research suggests fall-related injuries and cognitive decline in the elderly are interconnected.
- Executive function, gait health, and balance may be correlated and predict one another.
- Mind and body practices, such as tai chi, have been shown to benefit both cognitive and motor function.
- They may help improve balance and stability, thus reducing injuries caused by falling.
- A current study on tai chi for the elderly is assessing the impact of tai chi practice on health and on health care costs.
- Earlier studies suggest tai chi is cost effective, and indicate the mechanisms of its physical impact.
Peter Wayne, Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine and research director of the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, explored current tai chi research in his lecture “Minding” Our Bodies: Research on the Impact of Tai Chi on Cognitive-neuromuscular Interactions in Older Adults on Monday, September 12, 2016, at 10 a.m. ET.