Background: To examine the effects of a multicomponent exercise program on the cognitive function of older adults with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI).Methods: Design: Twelve months, randomized controlled trial; Setting: Community center in Japan; Participants: Fifty older adults (27 men) with aMCI ranging in age from 65 to 93 years (mean age, 75 years); Intervention: Subjects were randomized into either a multicomponent exercise (n = 25) or an education control group (n = 25). Subjects in the multicomponent exercise group exercised under the supervision of physiotherapists for 90 min/d, 2 d/wk, for a total of 80 times over 12 months. The exercises included aerobic exercises, muscle strength training, and postural balance retraining, and were conducted using multiple conditions to stimulate cognitive functions. Subjects in the control group attended three education classes regarding health during the 12-month period. Measurements were administered before, after the 6-month, and after the 12-month intervention period; Measurements: The performance measures included the mini-mental state examination, logical memory subtest of the Wechsler memory scale-revised, digit symbol coding test, letter and categorical verbal fluency test, and the Stroop color word test.Results: The mean adherence to the exercise program was 79.2%. Improvements of cognitive function following multicomponent exercise were superior at treatment end (group x time interactions for the mini-mental state examination (P = 0.04), logical memory of immediate recall (P = 0.03), and letter verbal fluency test (P = 0.02)). The logical memory of delayed recall, digit symbol coding, and Stroop color word test showed main effects of time, although there were no group x time interactions.Conclusions: This study indicates that exercise improves or supports, at least partly, cognitive performance in older adults with aMCI. © 2012 Suzuki et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
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