Cognitive Enhancement Strategies for Older Adults: An Evaluation of Different Training Modalities to Improve Executive Function—A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Sergi Rodriguez-Rodríguez, Max Canet-Vintró, Sang Ouk Wee, Jacobo Rodríguez-Sanz, Carlos López-de-Celis, Guillermo R. Oviedo, Noé Labata-Lezaun, Albert Pérez-Bellmunt

Research output: Indexed journal article Reviewpeer-review

Abstract

(1) Background: The aging population is expected to triple by 2050. Executive functions decline with age, impacting daily tasks, and this is associated with neurodegenerative diseases. Aerobic and resistance exercises positively affect cognitive function in older adults by influencing growth markers. However, the modalities of exercise and the optimal parameters for maximum cognitive benefits remain unclear. (2) Methods: A meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials (RCTs) was conducted. The systematic search was on slowing cognitive decline and performed in the PubMed/MEDLINE and Cochrane Library databases. Articles were included if participants were ≥65 years, healthy, and performing resistance or aerobic exercise, and they were excluded if there was a combination of training and if they have neurological disease or cognitive impairment. (3) Results: The search strategy found a total of 1635 studies. After removing duplicates and assessing the inclusion and exclusion criteria, eight articles were included in the meta-analysis, with a total of 463 healthy older adults analyzed. No significant differences between the intervention groups and the control groups after the aerobic or resistance programs were found. (4) Conclusions: Aerobic exercise interventions improved executive function more than resistance training in older adults, but without statistically significant differences. This can serve as a guide to see, with caution, whether we need a multidisciplinary approach to be more effective in improving the cortical health of older adults.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1301
JournalJournal of clinical medicine
Volume13
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • aerobic exercise
  • executive function
  • older adults
  • resistance exercise

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