2015 Volume 8 Pages 131-151
Cognitive impairment is a defining feature of dementia caused by neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and cerebrovascular disease. The combination of different protective factors of healthy cognitive aging might be most promising when attempting to delay cognitive decline and preserve cognitive abilities. Particularly, the combination of cognitive and physical activity has attracted increasing interest. But there is no review on the effects of exercise, cognitive intervention, and combined exercise and cognitive intervention in patients with cognitive impairment and AD and it is not cleared what is the best therapeutic intervention for these patients. 26 studies were identified in this review, most studies assessed general cognitive state such as MMSE or ADAS-Cog. Several studies indicated negative results included exercise, cognitive intervention, and combined exercise and cognitive intervention. Combination therapy may be plays an important role in enhancing cognitive function. The mechanisms of benefit from individual and combined physical and cognitive interventions are not clear, it has been postulated that physical and mental activity may therefore have potential to improve cognitive function. More research is needed to study the effect of combined non-pharmacological interventions in older adults with cognitive impairment.