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Int J Neurosci. 2011 Apr;121(4):218-23. doi: 10.3109/00207454.2010.546537. Epub 2011 Jan 19.

Structured exercise does not stabilize cognitive function in individuals with mild cognitive impairment residing in a structured living facility.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Kent State University, Kent Hall, Kent, Ohio 44242, USA.


Exercise has been shown to have positive effects on the brain and cognition in healthy older adults, though no study has directly examined possible cognitive benefits of formal exercise programs in persons with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) living in structured facilities. Thirty-one participants completed neuropsychological testing and measures of cardiovascular fitness at baseline and after 6 months of a structured exercise program that included aerobic and resistance training. While exercise improved cardiovascular fitness in persons with MCI, there was no improvement in cognitive function. Rather, MCI patients in this sample declined in performance on several tests sensitive to Alzheimer's disease. Examined in the context of past work, it appears exercise may be beneficial prior to the onset of MCI, though less helpful after its onset.

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