Resistance Training Promotes Cognitive and Functional Brain Plasticity in Seniors With Probable Mild Cognitive Impairment | Dementia and Cognitive Impairment | JAMA Internal Medicine | JAMA Network
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Research Letter
April 23, 2012

Resistance Training Promotes Cognitive and Functional Brain Plasticity in Seniors With Probable Mild Cognitive Impairment

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Departments of Psychology (Ms Nagamatsu and Dr Handy) and Physical Therapy (Mr Hsu and Dr Liu-Ambrose), University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; The Brain Research Centre (Ms Nagamatsu, Drs Handy and Liu-Ambrose, and Mr Hsu) and The Centre for Hip Health and Mobility (Ms Nagamatsu, Mr Hsu, and Dr Liu-Ambrose), Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute, Vancouver; and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, The Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, Urbana (Dr Voss).

Arch Intern Med. 2012;172(8):666-668. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2012.379

Cognitive decline is a pressing health care issue. Worldwide, 1 new case of dementia is detected every 7 seconds.1 Mild cognitive impairment—a well-recognized risk factor for dementia2—represents a critical window of opportunity for intervening and altering the trajectory of cognitive decline in seniors.

Exercise is a promising strategy for combating cognitive decline. Both aerobic training (AT) and resistance training (RT) enhance cognitive performance and functional plasticity in healthy, community-dwelling seniors3-5 and those with mild cognitive impairment.6 However, to our knowledge, no intervention study has compared the efficacy of both types of exercise on cognitive function and functional brain plasticity in seniors with mild cognitive impairment. Understanding this is crucial to using exercise as a strategy for altering the trajectory of cognitive decline in seniors with mild cognitive impairment.