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Alzheimers Dement (N Y). 2017 Mar 6;3(2):157-165. doi: 10.1016/j.trci.2017.02.002. eCollection 2017 Jun.

Design of the ExCersion-VCI study: The effect of aerobic exercise on cerebral perfusion in patients with vascular cognitive impairment.

Author information

1
Alzheimer Center and Department of Neurology, Amsterdam Neuroscience, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
2
Department of Cardiology, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
3
Department of Neurology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands.
4
Department of Physics and Medical Technology, Amsterdam Neuroscience, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
5
Department of Internal Medicine, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
6
Laboratory for Clinical Cardiovascular Physiology, Center for Heart Failure Research, Academic, Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
7
MRC/ARUK Centre for Musculoskeletal Ageing Research, School of Life Sciences, The Medical School, University of Nottingham, United Kingdom.
8
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, MOVE Research Institute Amsterdam, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
9
Department of Rehabilitation, Physical Therapy Science and Sport, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands.
10
Neurochemistry Laboratory and Biobank, Department of Clinical Chemistry, Amsterdam Neuroscience, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
11
Biomedical Imaging Group Rotterdam, Departments of Medical Informations and Radiology, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
12
Department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, Amsterdam Neuroscience, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
13
Institute of Neurology, UCL, London, United Kingdom.
14
Institute of Healthcare Engineering, UCL, London, United Kingdom.
15
Division of Image Processing, Department of Radiology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.
16
Imaging Physics, Applied Sciences, Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands.
17
Department of Radiology, C.J. Gorter Center for high field MRI, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.
18
Department of Radiology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.
19
Department of Epidemiology, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Abstract

There is evidence for a beneficial effect of aerobic exercise on cognition, but underlying mechanisms are unclear. In this study, we test the hypothesis that aerobic exercise increases cerebral blood flow (CBF) in patients with vascular cognitive impairment (VCI). This study is a multicenter single-blind randomized controlled trial among 80 patients with VCI. Most important inclusion criteria are a diagnosis of VCI with Mini-Mental State Examination ≥22 and Clinical Dementia Rating ≤0.5. Participants are randomized into an aerobic exercise group or a control group. The aerobic exercise program aims to improve cardiorespiratory fitness and takes 14 weeks, with a frequency of three times a week. Participants are provided with a bicycle ergometer at home. The control group receives two information meetings. Primary outcome measure is change in CBF. We expect this study to provide insight into the potential mechanism by which aerobic exercise improves hemodynamic status.

KEYWORDS:

Arterial spin labeling; Cerebral blood flow; Cognition; Exercise; Randomized clinical trial; Vascular cognitive impairment

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