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Brain Plasticity Associated with Motor Training and Learning in Middle-aged and Older Adults

Event Type
Seminar/Symposium
Sponsor
Bill Mullins
Location
Beckman Institute Room 4269 (4th Floor Tower Room)
Date
Jun 18, 2024   10:30 am  
Speaker
Prof. Pei-Fang Tang
Contact
Bill Mullins
E-Mail
wmullins@illinois.edu
Originating Calendar
Beckman Institute Calendar (internal events only)

Enhancing Brain Health: Motor Interventions and Brain Plasticity in Aging

Pei-Fang Tang, PhD PT, Professor

School and Graduate Institute of Physical Therapy, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University 

Maintaining cognitive function in aging populations is crucial. Our research explores how motor learning and exercise impact brain plasticity in middle-aged and older adults with and without cardiovascular risks. We use brain imaging to study the brain and behavioral effects of engaging in a visuomotor tracking task and Tai Chi Chuan (TCC), aerobic, and stretching exercises. Studies revealed that exercise promotes specific brain activation and brain volume, and in some cases, white matter integrity changes are associated with improved behavioral performance. Notably, pre-existing good white matter integrity benefited cognitive gains from TCC. These findings suggest motor interventions can enhance brain health and cognitive function in middle[1]aged and older adults, even in people who are at higher risks of brain degeneration. We're further exploring the use of non-invasive brain stimulation to potentially boost these benefits in the aging population and patients with stroke.

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