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Aerobic Exercise and Cognitive Training for MCI (ACT Trial)


Combining aerobic exercise and cognitive training, this study will compare the effects of cycling and cognitive training alone and together in older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI).

Minimum Age Maximum Age Gender Healthy Volunteers
65 Years N/A All No
July 5, 2018
May 31, 2022

  • Diagnosis of MCI
  • Community-dwelling (does not live in long-term care facility)
  • English speaking
  • Adequate visual ability
  • Verified exercise safety by medical provider
  • Stable on drugs affecting cognitive and psychological status
  • Verified magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) safety, including no metal implants or pacemakers

  • Geriatric Depression Scale score less than 5
  • Resting heart rate of 50 or less due to arrhythmia or 100 or more beats per minute
  • Condition in the past 5 years that is a main contributor to MCI, including neurological (dementia, head trauma), psychiatric (bipolar, schizophrenia, depression), or substance dependency (alcohol or chemical)
  • Conditions that may prevent exercising safety, such as unstable angina or recent surgery
  • New symptoms or diseases that have not been evaluated by a healthcare provider
  • Current enrollment in another intervention study related to cognitive improvement
  • Abnormal MRI findings

Participants will be randomly assigned to one of four groups: 1) cycling on a recumbent stationary cycle, 2) cognitive training on a computer, 3) combined cycling and cognitive training, or 4) stretching and mental stimulation. Each group will complete their activity 3 times a week for 6 months. Researchers will track changes in cognition, including memory and executive function, as well as changes in fitness levels, the brain's structure and function as measured by MRI, and any progression to MCI or Alzheimer's disease.

Name City State Zip Status Primary Contact
University of Minnesota
Minneapolis Minnesota 55455 Recruiting Susan Greimel, MS
University of Rochester
Rochester New York 14642 Recruiting Alanna Jacobs, MS

University of Minnesota - Clinical and Translational Science Institute

  • University of Rochester
  • Mayo Clinic
  • University of St Thomas

Name Role Affiliation
Fang Yu, PhD Principal Investigator University of Minnesota
Vankee Lin, PhD Principal Investigator University of Rochester

Name Phone Email
Fang Yu, PhD 612-624-5435
Susan Greimel 612-626-9655


Efficacy and Mechanisms of Combined Aerobic Exercise and Cognitive Training (ACT) in MCI