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AAIC 2023 | Resistance training improves cognitive performance in individuals with vascular cognitive impairment

Ryan Falck, PhD, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada, shares the findings of a 12-month randomized, controlled trial assessing a twice-weekly progressive resistance training program for cognitive function in older adults with subcortical ischemic vascular cognitive impairment (SIVCI). Individuals with SIVCI show evidence of subcortical vascular brain injury, including lacunar infarcts and deep white matter changes. Given the importance of modifiable risk factors such as hypertension and diabetes mellitus, exercise training is a promising intervention to delay the progression of SIVCI. The study involved 91 adults with SIVCI randomly assigned to resistance training (RT) or balance and tone (BAT) exercises. Cognitive function was assessed using the Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive-Plus and gait speed over 4 meters. Results showed that the RT group exhibited significantly better cognitive performance and faster gait speed compared to the BAT group after 12 months. These findings suggest that progressive resistance training could be a valuable intervention in managing and treating SIVCI, particularly given the increasing prevalence of this condition due to global aging. This interview took place at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference® (AAIC) 2023 in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

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