Changes in cardiovascular health and white matter integrity with aerobic exercise, cognitive and combined training in physically inactive healthy late‑middle‑aged adults: the “Projecte Moviment” randomized controlled trial
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Aerobic exerciseComputerized cognitive trainingCombined trainingCardiovascular healthWhite matter integrity
Roig-Coll, F., Castells-Sánchez, A., Monté-Rubio, G. et al. Changes in cardiovascular health and white matter integrity with aerobic exercise, cognitive and combined training in physically inactive healthy late-middle-aged adults: the “Projecte Moviment” randomized controlled trial. Eur J Appl Physiol (2023). [https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-023-05319-9]
SponsorshipCRUE-CSIC agreement with Springer Nature; Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness: Neuroplasticity in the adulthood: physical exercise and cognitive training (PSI2013- 47724-P); Integrative omics study on the neurobiological effects of physical activity and cognitive stimulation (PSI2016-77475-R); Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies under the ICREA Academia program to MM; (FPU014/01460, FI-2016, and FI-2018)
Introduction This is a 12-weeks randomized controlled trial examining the effects of aerobic exercise (AE), computerized cognitive training (CCT) and their combination (COMB). We aim to investigate their impact on cardiovascular health and white matter (WM) integrity and how they contribute to the cognitive benefits. Methods 109 participants were recruited and 82 (62% female; age = 58.38 ± 5.47) finished the intervention with > 80% adherence. We report changes in cardiovascular risk factors and WM integrity (fractional anisotropy (FA); mean diffusivity (MD)), how they might be related to changes in physical activity, age and sex, and their potential role as mediators in cognitive improvements. Results A decrease in BMI (SMD = − 0.32, p = 0.039), waist circumference (SMD = − 0.42, p = 0.003) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) (SMD = − 0.42, p = 0.006) in the AE group and a decrease in BMI (SMD = − 0.34, p = 0.031) and DBP (SMD = − 0.32, p = 0.034) in the COMB group compared to the waitlist control group was observed. We also found decreased global MD in the CCT group (SMD = − 0.34; p = 0.032) and significant intervention-related changes in FA and MD in the frontal and temporal lobes in the COMB group. Conclusions We found changes in anthropometric measures that suggest initial benefits on cardiovascular health after only 12 weeks of AE and changes in WM microstructure in the CCT and COMB groups. These results add evidence of the clinical relevance of lifestyle interventions and the potential benefits when combining them. Clinical Trial Registration ClinicalTrials.gov NCT031123900.