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.