Combined physical exercise-working memory training on slowing down cognitive decline in elders with mild clinical Alzheimer disease: a randomised controlled study (abridged secondary publication)
LCW Lam1, WC Chan2, TCY Kwok3, JSW Lee4, BML Yu5, S Lee1, ATC Lee1, SL Ma1, ST Cheng6
1 Department of Psychiatry, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
2 Department of Psychiatry, The University of Hong Kong
3 Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
4 Department of Medicine, Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital
5 Social Welfare Department, Hong Kong SAR Government
6 Department of Health and Physical Education, The Education University of Hong Kong
1. A total of 376 participants with mild dementia were randomly assigned to four 6-week programmes: (1) working memory training, (2) physical exercise, (3) combined working memory and physical exercise, or (4) health education, with 94 participants per group.
2. Immediately after training, all groups showed a time effect for better clinician-rated global cognition function (measured by Clinical Dementia Rating Sum of Boxes), episodic memory, and category verbal fluency. There was no significant between-group difference in cognitive outcomes.
3. The cognitive performance tended to deteriorate after intervention stopped. Adherence to training is important for sustainable benefits. More intensive schedule and longer duration of practice should be advised for sustained benefits.