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Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2007 Aug;39(8):1401-7.

The impact of resistance exercise on the cognitive function of the elderly.

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Department of Psychobiology, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.



The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of 24 wk of resistance training at two different intensities on cognitive functions in the elderly.


Sixty-two elderly individuals were randomly assigned to three groups: CONTROL (N = 23), experimental moderate (EMODERATE; N = 19), and experimental high (EHIGH; N = 20). The volunteers were assessed on physical, hemodynamic, cognitive, and mood parameters before and after the program.


On the 1 RM test (P < 0.001), the two experimental groups performed better than the CONTROL group, but they did not show differences between themselves. The EHIGH group gained more lean mass (P = 0.05) than the CONTROL group and performed better on the following tests: digit span forward (P < 0.001), Corsi's block-tapping task backward (P = 0.001), similarities (P = 0.03), Rey-Osterrieth complex figure immediate recall (P = 0.02), Toulouse-Pieron concentration test errors (P = 0.01), SF-36 (general health) (P = 0.04), POMS (tension-anxiety, P = 0.04; depression-dejection, P = 0.03; and total mood disorder, P = 0.03). The EMODERATE group scored higher means than the CONTROL group on digit span forward (P < 0.001), Corsi's block-tapping task backward (P = 0.01), similarities (P = 0.02), Rey-Osterrieth complex figure immediate recall (P = 0.02), SF-36 (general health, P = 0.005; vitality, P = 0.006), POMS (tension-anxiety, P = 0.001; depression-dejection, P = 0.006; anger-hostility, P = 0.006; fatigue-inertia, P = 0.02; confusion-bewilderment, P = 0.02; and total mood disorder, P = 0.001). We also found that IGF-1 serum levels were higher in the experimental groups (EMODERATE, P = 0.02; EHIGH, P < 0.001).


Moderate- and high-intensity resistance exercise programs had equally beneficial effects on cognitive functioning.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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