Modulation Effects of Baduanjin Exercise on Subjective Cognitive Decline

  • End date
    Jun 30, 2024
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Massachusetts General Hospital
Updated on 7 July 2021
mini-mental state examination
alzheimer's disease
cognitive decline
mental state examination
memory impairment
cognitive assessment
memory loss
mental deterioration


The aim of this study is to investigate the modulation effects of Baduanjin (BDJ), a simple and innovative mind-body exercise, on cognitive function, resting state functional connectivity, and brain morphometry in individuals with subjective cognitive decline (SCD). The results obtained will provide novel insights for improving the prevention of age-related cognitive decline and Alzheimer's disease.


Subjective cognitive decline (SCD), the self-reported perception of memory or cognitive problems, is receiving increasing attention as a risk factor for the development of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Since SCD manifests before the onset of clinical impairment, it might be the optimal stage/window of time at which to intervene with preventative therapies for AD and age-related dementia before the progressive neurological loss and irreversible cognitive impairment.

Recently, mind-body interventions have demonstrated their potential in preventing cognitive decline. Nevertheless, these mind-body therapies encompass a family of complex practices, each with different characteristics and focus. Therefore, they may be associated with different mechanisms and treatment effects. Baduanjin (BDJ) is an innovative and simple mind-body exercise consisting of eight simple movements that can be easily practiced at home with video guidance, thereby making it a more suitable option for older adults with cognitive decline than other more complex exercises.

We believe that this study will 1) significantly improve the prevention of MCI and AD and directly benefit patients suffering from these highly prevalent disorders, 2) enhance the investigators' understandings of the neurobiology through which mind-body interventions affect cognition and health, and 3) advance the investigators' understandings of the pathophysiology and development of SCD, AD, and age-related dementia.

Condition Cognitive Impairments, Cognitive Impairment, Cognitive Decline, neurocognitive disturbance, Mental Deterioration, Cognitive Dysfunction
Treatment Baduanjin exercise, Cognitive Fitness Program
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT04009382
SponsorMassachusetts General Hospital
Last Modified on7 July 2021


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

- 80 years old
Self-reported experience of persistent decline in memory compared with a previous state (within the past 5 years), which was further confirmed by informants
Concerns regarding memory problems
Mini-Mental State Examination, Second Edition (MMSE-2) scores within the normal range
Montreal Cognitive Assessment scores within the normal range (adjusted for age, sex, and education)
Clinical Dementia Rating score of 0 (no memory loss or slight, inconsistent forgetfulness)

Exclusion Criteria

Unable to speak or read English
Diagnosis of depression
Other diseases that cause cognitive decline (e.g., traumatic brain injury, stroke, neurodegenerative diseases, brain tumor, Parkinson disease, encephalitis or epilepsy, thyroid dysfunction, severe anemia, syphilis)
History of psychosis or congenital mental growth retardation
Any delayed recall index greater than 1.5 SD below average on the California Verbal Learning Test, Second Edition
Failing the Memory items on the MMSE-2 and MDRS-2, as well as the CVLT-II criterion
Inability to participate in a 6-month intervention with a 3-month follow-up
Any item = 0 on the Lawton-Brody Instrumental Activities of Daily Living Scale for cognitive reasons
No available informant
Previous diagnosis of MCI, AD, or other age-related dementia
Previous Baduanjin experience
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