A randomized controlled trial of dual-task exercise on physical activity, cognitive function and brain function in patients with mild cognitive impairment
Background and Study Aim: Dementia refers to a state in which multiple cognitive function impairment due to degenerative brain disease and which causes difficulties in daily life or social life. Early intervention of patients who are in Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) stage among the high-risk group can improve cognitive function maintenance and improvement. The aim of present study is the knowledge about association between a dual-task exercise and physical activity (PA) and cognitive and brain functions.
Material and Methods: The MCI diagnosis was based on medical evaluations through a clinical interview by a dementia specialist. The diagnosis was also based on neurological examinations, magnetic resonance imaging, and detailed neuropsychological assessments. Neuropsychological cognitive and depression assessment were performed by neuropsychologists according to standardized methods, including the Korean Mini-Mental State Examination (K-MMSE) and modified Alzheimer’s disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive Subscale (ADAS-Cog) and i-PAD cognitive assessment tool (attention, processing speed) and Korean version of the Geriatric Depression Scale (SGDS-K), both at baseline and at 12 weeks follow-up.
Results: The 12-week dual-task exercise intervention improved cognitive function and PA in patients with MCI relative to controls. Meanwhile, in hippocampal volume, there were no significant differences in the interaction between group and time. Brain atrophy was higher for the low PA group than the high PA group.
Conclusions: Dual-task exercises for patients with MCI are considered to be effective methods for dementia prevention by improving cognitive function and PA, and it is important to build a habit of a continued PA through a long-term intervention exercise program.