EFFECTS OF RANDOMIZED EXERCISE TRAINING ON COGNITION OF OLDER ADULTS WITH COGNITIVE IMPAIRMENTS: AN UMBRELLA REVIEW
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Abstract There is accumulative evidence supporting the benefits of regular physical activity along the cognitive role of older adults with cognitive impairments (OAwCIs). Since the publishing of our meta-analytic review evaluating the effects of randomized exercise trials on cognitive function of OAwCIs (Heyn, Abreu & Ottenbacher, 2004), a plethora of meta-analysis reviews have been published in this field. Thus, our review team appraised the evidence generated from the meta-analysis reviews that included randomized exercise trials for OAwCIs. Preliminary data synthesis of twelve, well-designed meta-analysis reviews resulted in the evaluation of 193 RCTs and 15,614 participants over the age of 65 years old diagnosed with MCI, dementia, or Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Exercise training paradigms averaged 156.4 minutes per week for 19.6-week treatment. The combined cognitive function outcome mean effect size was 0.67 (0.06-1.34 95% CI). Grounded in this unique umbrella review study results, sustained and prolonged exercise training for OAwCIs might provide an attractive and effective intervention for their care since exercise training has been proven to enhance cognitive function on OAwCIs, especially MCI and AD type. This comprehensive meta-analysis umbrella overview offers valuable and strong evidence-based exercise recommendations for OAwCIs with the goal of maintaining and improving their cognitive function as they get older. Given the projected increases in the older population as well as greater prevalence of cognitive impairments, this report will be of great significance to health care providers involved in the care of OAwCIs.