Effects of a specially designed aerobic dance routine on mild cognitive impairment
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Background: Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is known as a transitional stage or phase between normal aging and dementia. In addition, it is associated with an increased risk of dementia. Research has shown that moderate-intensity exercise is associated with a decreased risk of cognitive impairment. Two recent studies demonstrated that dance interventions are associated with improved cognitive function in the elderly with MCI. Purpose: We evaluated the effect of a moderate-intensity aerobic dance routine on the cognitive function in patients with MCI. Patients and methods: This is a single-blind randomized controlled trial. Sixty MCI patients were randomized to receive either treatment (aerobic dance routine + usual care) or control (usual care only) for 3 months. All patients received usual care for an additional 3 months thereafter. The aerobic dance routine was a specially designed dance routine which involved cognitive effort for patients to memorize the complex movements. Wechsler memory scale-revised logical memory (WMS-R LM) and event-related evoked potentials (ERPs) P300 latency were used to assess patients' cognitive function at baseline, 3 months, and 6 months. Results: Twenty-nine patients received exercise therapy and 31 patients received usual care. Patients in the treatment group showed a greater improvement in memory (difference in WMS-R LM changes over 3 months 4.6; 95% CI 2.2, 7.0; p<0.001) and processing speed (difference in P300 latency changes over 6 months -20.0; 95% CI=-39.5, -0.4; p<0.05) compared to control. Conclusion: This dance routine improves cognitive function, especially episodic memory and processing speed, in MCI patients and merits promotion in communities.
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