Study protocol of the Intense Physical Activity and Cognition study: The effect of high-intensity exercise training on cognitive function in older adults

Belinda M. Brown*, Stephanie R. Rainey-Smith, Natalie Castalanelli, Nicole Gordon, Shaun Markovic, Hamid R. Sohrabi, Michael Weinborn, Simon M. Laws, James Doecke, Kaikai Shen, Ralph N. Martins, Jeremiah J. Peiffer

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    12 Citations (Scopus)
    8 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    Introduction: Inconsistent results from previous studies of exercise and cognitive function suggest that rigorously designed randomized controlled trials are urgently needed. Here, we describe the design of the Intense Physical Activity and Cognition (IPAC) study, which will assess the impact of a 6-month high-intensity exercise intervention on cognitive function and biomarkers of dementia risk, compared with a 6-month moderate-intensity exercise intervention and control group (no study-related exercise).

    Methods: One-hundred and five cognitively healthy men and women aged between 60 and 80 years are randomized into a high-intensity exercise, moderate-intensity exercise, or control group. Individuals randomized to an exercise intervention undertake 6 months of cycle-based exercise twice a week, at 50 minutes per session. All participants undergo comprehensive neuropsychological testing, blood sampling, brain magnetic resonance imaging, fitness testing, and a body composition scan at baseline, 6 months (immediately after intervention), and 18 months (12 months after intervention).

    Discussion: The IPAC study takes a multidisciplinary approach to investigating the role of exercise in maintaining a healthy brain throughout aging. Rigorous monitoring of exertion and adherence throughout the intervention, combined with repeated measures of fitness, is vital in ensuring an optimum exercise dose is reached. Results from the IPAC study will be used to inform a large-scale multicentre randomized controlled trial, with the ultimate aim of pinpointing the frequency, duration, and intensity of exercise that provides the most benefit to the brain, in terms of enhancing cognitive function and reducing dementia risk in older adults.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)562-570
    Number of pages9
    JournalAlzheimer's and Dementia: Translational Research and Clinical Interventions
    Volume3
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright the Author(s) 2017. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

    Keywords

    • cognition
    • dementia
    • exercise
    • intervention
    • study design

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