Effects of momentum-based dumbbell training on cognitive function in older adults with mild cognitive impairment: a pilot randomized controlled trial

Clin Interv Aging. 2015 Dec 22;11:9-16. doi: 10.2147/CIA.S96042. eCollection 2016.


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore the effects of an innovative momentum-based dumbbell-training intervention on cognitive function in older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI).

Subjects and methods: A total of 45 community-dwelling older adults with MCI were randomly assigned to either a dumbbell-training group (DTG; n=22) or a control group (CG; n=23). Participants in the DTG participated in exercise sessions three times weekly for 12 weeks. The primary outcome measures were cognitive function, including the Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale (ADAS) - Cognitive subscale, Trail Making Test part B, Digit Span Test (DST) - forward, and DST - backward, with secondary outcome measures being Timed Up and Go, functional reach, and the Activities-Specific Balance Confidence Scale.

Results: In an intent-to-treat analysis, participants in the DTG had significantly improved ADAS - Cognitive subscale scores compared to those in the CG (5.02 points, P=0.012). There was a significant within-group change (improvement) in Trail Making Test part B (33.32 seconds, P<0.001) and DST - backward (0.41 points, P=0.025) scores. No change was observed for the DST - forward measure. Participants in the DTG also improved their functional mobility compared to those in the CG (Timed Up and Go, 0.81 seconds; P=0.043).

Conclusion: There is preliminary evidence showing the potential benefit of momentum-based dumbbell training for improving cognitive function in older adults with MCI.

Keywords: cognition; exercise intervention; mild cognitive impairment; older adults; physical performance.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • China
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / therapy*
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Pilot Projects
  • Treatment Outcome