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Effects of a specially designed aerobic dance routine on mild cognitive impairment

Authors Zhu Y, Wu H, Qi M, Wang S, Zhang Q, Zhou L, Wang S, Wang W, Wu T, Xiao M, Yang S, Chen H, Zhang L, Zhang KC, Ma J, Wang T

Received 19 January 2018

Accepted for publication 18 May 2018

Published 11 September 2018 Volume 2018:13 Pages 1691—1700


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Zhi-Ying Wu

Yi Zhu,1,* Han Wu,2,* Ming Qi,3 Sheng Wang,4 Qin Zhang,1 Li Zhou,1 Shiyan Wang,5 Wei Wang,6 Ting Wu,6 Ming Xiao,7 Siyu Yang,8 Hong Chen,9 Ling Zhang,4 Kathryn Chu Zhang,10 Jinhui Ma,11,12 Tong Wang1

1Rehabilitation Department, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China; 2Rehabilitation Department, Nanjing Drum Tower Hospital, The Affiliated Hospital of the Medical School at Nanjing University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China; 3Radiology Department, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China; 4Rehabilitation Department, Suzhou Science and Technology Town Hospital, Suzhou, Jiangsu, China; 5Rehabilitation Department, Zhejiang Province Hospital, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China; 6Neurological Department, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China; 7Department of Anatomy, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China; 8Neurological Department, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Wan’nan Medical College, Wuhu, Anhui, China; 9Department of Physical Diagnosis, Nanjing Brain Hospital, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China; 10Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, ON, Canada; 11School of Epidemiology, Public Health and Preventive Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada; 12Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, Ottawa, ON, Canada

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Background: Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is known as a transitional stage or phase between normal aging and dementia. In addition, it is associated with an increased risk of dementia. Research has shown that moderate-intensity exercise is associated with a decreased risk of cognitive impairment. Two recent studies demonstrated that dance interventions are associated with improved cognitive function in the elderly with MCI.
Purpose: We evaluated the effect of a moderate-intensity aerobic dance routine on the cognitive function in patients with MCI.
Patients and methods: This is a single-blind randomized controlled trial. Sixty MCI patients were randomized to receive either treatment (aerobic dance routine + usual care) or control (usual care only) for 3 months. All patients received usual care for an additional 3 months thereafter. The aerobic dance routine was a specially designed dance routine which involved cognitive effort for patients to memorize the complex movements. Wechsler memory scale-revised logical memory (WMS-R LM) and event-related evoked potentials (ERPs) P300 latency were used to assess patients’ cognitive function at baseline, 3 months, and 6 months.
Results: Twenty-nine patients received exercise therapy and 31 patients received usual care. Patients in the treatment group showed a greater improvement in memory (difference in WMS-R LM changes over 3 months 4.6; 95% CI 2.2, 7.0; p<0.001) and processing speed (difference in P300 latency changes over 6 months -20.0; 95% CI=-39.5, -0.4; p<0.05) compared to control.
Conclusion: This dance routine improves cognitive function, especially episodic memory and processing speed, in MCI patients and merits promotion in communities.

Keywords: mild cognitive impairment, dance, cognitive function, memory

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