Effects of Aerobic, Resistance, or Combined Exercise Training among Older Adults with Subjective Memory Complaints: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Taeko Makino, Hiroyuki Umegaki, Masahiko Ando, Xian Wu Cheng, Koji Ishida, Hiroshi Akima, Yoshiharu Oshida, Yasuko Yoshida, Kazuki Uemura, Hiroyuki Shimada, Masafumi Kuzuya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Physical exercise is suggested to be effective for preventing cognitive decline in older adults, but the relative efficacy of different types of exercise have yet to be clarified. Objective: This single-blinded randomized controlled trial was designed to investigate the differential effects of aerobic exercise training (AT), resistance exercise training (RT), and combined exercise training (CT) on cognition in older adults with subjective memory complaints (SMC). Methods: Community-dwelling older adults with SMC (n = 415; mean age = 72.3 years old) were randomly assigned to one of the four groups: AT, RT, CT, or control group. The study consisted of two phases: a 26-week intervention and a 26-week follow-up. The participants were evaluated at baseline, 26 weeks (postintervention), and 52 weeks (follow-up). The primary outcome of this study was memory function, which was assessed using the Logical Memory II subtest of the Wechsler Memory Scale-Revised (WMS-R) score. The secondary outcomes included global cognitive function, verbal fluency, working memory, processing speed, and executive functions. Results: Intention-to-treat analysis by a mixed-effect model repeated measure showed that the AT group had significantly improved performance on the WMS-R Logical Memory II test (2.74 [1.82-3.66] points) than the control group (1.36 [0.44-2.28] points) at the postintervention assessment (p = 0.037). The effect was more pronounced in those without amnesia than those with amnesia. No significant improvement was observed in the RT and CT groups. Conclusion: This study suggests that AT intervention can improve delayed memory in community-dwelling older adults, particularly in individuals without objective memory decline.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)701-717
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Amnesia
  • Cognition
  • Cognitive dysfunction
  • Executive function
  • Exercise
  • Memory
  • Physical activity
  • Randomized controlled trial
  • Resistance training
  • Wechsler memory scale

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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