Tai Chi improves brain metabolism and muscle energetics in older adults

A new Journal of Neuroimaging study provides insights into the biochemical mechanisms by which Tai Chi– a mind-body exercise–may provide both physical and psychological benefits.

Using magnetic resonance spectroscopy, a non-invasive method of measuring brain and muscle chemistry using MRI machines, tests conducted in 6 older adults enrolled in a 12-week Tai Chi program revealed significant increases in a marker of neuronal health in the brain and significantly improved recovery rates of a metabolite involved in energy production in leg muscles.

"The benefits of Tai Chi have been well known anecdotally; however recent research such as our study can quantify these improvements using objective measures," said senior author Dr. Alexander Lin, of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jon.12515

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