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Researchers have found that the martial art of tai chi could slow the progression of Parkinson's disease by years. Tai chi, with its slow, meditative movements, is known to benefit physical and mental health. Doctors from a university in Shanghai conducted a long study on people with Parkinson's. The researchers found that the condition progressed at a slower rate in those who practiced tai chi. They observed fewer falls and less dizziness in the tai chi practitioners. The researchers also noted that the cognitive function of those who practiced tai chi deteriorated more slowly.
Parkinson's is a brain disorder that affects the nerves and muscles. It causes unintended or uncontrollable movements, and difficulty with balance and coordination. People with Parkinson's may have difficulty walking and talking. One famous person with Parkinson's was the heavyweight boxer Muhammad Ali. The researchers said tai chi could keep symptoms of Parkinson's at bay for years. They said: "The long-term beneficial effect of tai chi…could prolong the time without disability, leading to a higher quality of life, a lower burden for caregivers and a reduction in drug use."
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