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Preventing Loss of Independence Through Exercise in Mild Cognitive Impairment (PLIE)


This randomized, controlled trial will test the an exercise program in older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) who live in the community.

Minimum Age Maximum Age Gender Healthy Volunteers
60 Years N/A All No
August 30, 2018
September 30, 2020

  • Mild cognitive impairment 
  • English fluency
  • Able to take two steps without a cane or walker
  • Living in the community in a private home or apartment

  • Behavioral or physical issues that would be disruptive or dangerous (e.g., active psychosis, drug abuse, severe behavioral issues)
  • Physical or mental health condition that would make participation difficult (e.g., active psychosis, limited life expectancy)
  • Contraindications to magnetic resonance imaging, including severe claustrophobia or metal objects in the body such as pacemakers, implanted stimulators, or pumps
  • Started dementia medication (cholinesterase inhibitor or memantine) within the past 3 months
  • Planning to start or change any psychotropic medication during the study period
  • Current participation in another research study

Preventing Loss of Independence through Exercise (PLIE) focuses on training procedural memory (unconscious learning of procedures) to perform movements that are most needed for daily function (e.g., transitioning safely from sitting to standing). In addition, PLIE integrates elements of Eastern and Western exercise modalities, such as physical and occupational therapy, yoga, tai chi, Feldenkrais, and mindfulness meditation, to develop mindful body awareness and enhance social connection.

Participants will engage in PLIE activities for 1 hour, twice a week, for 4 months. Some participants will be randomly assigned to a comparative group that will participate in standard senior center activities, including physical, mental and social activities. After the 4-month period, the groups will cross over so that those initially engaged in the PLIE activities will do standard activities, and vice versa. Assessments will be conducted at the beginning of the study, at 4 months, and at 8 months.

Name City State Zip Status Primary Contact
San Francisco VA Medical Center, San Francisco, CA
San Francisco California 94121 Recruiting Deborah E Barnes, PhD

University of California, San Francisco

  • United States Department of Defense

Name Role Affiliation
Linda I. Chao, PhD Principal Investigator University of California, San Francisco

Name Phone Email
Linda l. Chao, PhD 415-221-4810
Deborah E. Barnes, PhD 415-221-4810


Preventing Loss of Independence Through Exercise (PLI) in Persons With Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)