Following a program of physical exercise combined with cognitive training can greatly help older people with mild cognitive impairment, a national study finds.


Symptoms of mild cognitive impairment in the elderly can be slowed or even reversed if they follow a combined program of physical exercise and cognitive training, according to the results of a clinical study of 175 seniors diagnosed with the disorder.

Published in July in JAMA Network Open, the study was done by researchers at five Canadian universities led by Dr. Louis Bherer, a medical professor at Université de Montréal and director of the EPIC Centre at the Montreal Heart Institute.

Several previous studies have measured the benefits of exercise, cognitive training and the taking of vitamin D supplements on the mental health of elderly people, but none had compared combinations of the three, with control groups for each. 

The team of researchers at UdeM, Western University, University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University and University of British Columbia filled this gap by comparing the effectiveness of the three interventions in five combinations:

  • exercise, cognitive training and vitamin D;
  • exercise, cognitive training and vitamin D placebo;
  • exercise, sham cognitive training, and vitamin D;
  • exercise, sham cognitive training and vitamin D placebo;
  • stretching exercises, sham cognitive training and vitamin D placebo.

Read article from the University of Montreal

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