Effects of pioglitazone or exercise in older adults with mild cognitive impairment and insulin resistance: a pilot study

Dement Geriatr Cogn Dis Extra. 2015 Feb 20;5(1):51-63. doi: 10.1159/000371509. eCollection 2015 Jan-Apr.


Aims: To examine the effects of pioglitazone or endurance exercise training on cognitive function in older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and insulin resistance.

Methods: Seventy-eight adults (mean age ± SD: 65 ± 7 years) with central obesity and MCI were randomized to 6 months of endurance exercise, pioglitazone or control.

Results: Sixty-six participants completed the study. Exercise training did not significantly increase peak oxygen uptake compared to control (p = 0.12). Compared to control, insulin resistance improved in the pioglitazone group (p = 0.002) but not in the exercise group (p = 0.25). There was no measureable effect of pioglitazone or exercise on cognitive performance compared to control.

Conclusion: In this pilot study, pioglitazone improved insulin resistance but not cognitive performance in older adults with MCI and insulin resistance.

Keywords: Exercise; Insulin resistance; Mild cognitive impairment; Pioglitazone.