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Aerobic exercise effects upon cognition in Mild Cognitive Impairment: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials

D. M. Cammisuli, A. Innocenti, F. Franzoni, C. Pruneti


Several studies have shown that physical activity has positive effects on cognition in healthy older adults without cognitive complains but lesser is known about the effectiveness of aerobic exercise in patients suffering from Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). The aim of the present study was to systematically review the evidence from randomized controlled trials (RCTs) about the effects of aerobic exercise upon cognition in MCI patients. To this end, PubMed, Cochrane and Web of Science databases were analytically searched for RCTs including aerobic exercise interventions for MCI patients. There is evidence that aerobic exercise improves cognition in MCI patients. Overall research reported moderate effects for global cognition, logical memory, inhibitory control and divided attention. Due to methodological limitations of the investigated studies, findings should be interpreted with caution. Standardized training protocols, larger scale interventions and follow-ups may also provide better insight into the preventive effects of aerobic exercise on cognitive deterioration in MCI and its conversion into dementia.


mild cognitive impairment; aerobic exercise; cognition; non-pharmacological intervention; randomized controlled trial

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