Evolving methods to combine cognitive and physical training for individuals with mild cognitive impairment: study protocol for a randomized controlled study.Trials 2016; 17(1):526T
Nonpharmacologic interventions, such as cognitive training or physical exercise, are effective in improving cognitive functions for older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Some researchers have proposed that combining physical exercise with cognitive training may augment the benefits of cognition. However, strong evidence is lacking regarding whether a combined therapy is superior to a single type of training for older adults with MCI. Moreover, which combination approach - combining physical exercise with cognitive training sequentially or simultaneously - is more advantageous for cognitive improvement is not yet clear. This proposed study is designed to clarify these questions.
This study is a single-blinded, multicenter, randomized controlled trial. Eighty individuals with MCI will be recruited and randomly assigned to cognitive training (COG), physical exercise training (PE), sequential training (SEQ), and dual-task training (DUAL) groups. The intervention programs will be 90 min/day, 2-3 days/week, for a total of 36 training sessions. The participants in the SEQ group will first perform 45 min of physical exercise followed by 45 min of cognitive training, whereas those in the DUAL group will perform physical exercise and cognitive training simultaneously. Participants will be assessed at baseline, after the intervention, and at 6-month follow-up. The primary cognitive outcome tests will include the Montreal Cognitive Assessment and the color-naming Stroop test. Other outcomes will include assessments that evaluate the cognitive, physical, and daily functions of older adults with MCI.
The results of this proposed study will provide important information regarding the feasibility and intervention effects of combining physical exercise and cognitive training for older individuals with MCI.
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02512627 , registered on 20 July 2015.