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Gerontologist. 2019 Nov 7. pii: gnz149. doi: 10.1093/geront/gnz149. [Epub ahead of print]

Effectiveness of Combined Cognitive and Physical Interventions to Enhance Functioning in Older Adults With Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials.

Author information

1
Department of Rehabilitation and Health Services, University of North Texas, Denton.
2
Clinical and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Sydney, Australia.
3
Educational Psychology and Inclusive Education, University of Johannesburg, South Africa.
4
School of Psychology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Adelaide, Australia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES:

Cognitive training delivered in conjunction with physical activity, may help to optimize aging and delay or prevent dementia in individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). However, their efficacy is less well studied compared to pharmaceutical treatments. This systematic review synthesizes the emerging evidence on combined cognitive-physical interventions for enhancing functioning in older adults with MCI, with implications for practice and research.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS:

We searched the PubMed, PsycINFO, Ageline, Medline, Web of Science and ProQuest databases, and hand-searched articles published between July 2013 and November 2018. Only randomized controlled trials which incorporated cognitive and physical components targeted to individuals with MCI over the age of 50 were eligible. Our search yielded 10 eligible, independent articles.

RESULTS:

Intervention participants with MCI self-reported, or demonstrated, improved functioning across a range of cognitive (global cognitive function, executive function, processing speed, memory, attention, mood, emotion, motivation, brain cortex, orientation), and physical (gait, balance, mobility) outcomes. Interventions which combined cognitive-physical training were comparable to those which isolated these same elements, in terms of their effects on executive function, processing speed, attention, mood, and cardiorespiratory fitness.

DISCUSSION AND IMPLICATIONS:

There is preliminary evidence to support the positive effects of multicomponent interventions to improve cognitive-motor abilities in older adults at risk of developing dementia. The strength of this research evidence is, however, limited. Longitudinal studies are needed to determine whether these effects are maintained over time. The optimal intervention intensity and length also need to be established.

KEYWORDS:

Aged; Cognition; Dementia; Exercise

PMID:
31697831
DOI:
10.1093/geront/gnz149

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