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Study of Mental Activity and Regular Training (SMART) in at risk individuals: a randomised double blind, sham controlled, longitudinal trial


Gates, Nicola J., Valenzuela, Michael, Sachdev, Perminder S., Singh, Nalin A., Baune, Bernhard T., Brodaty, Henry, Suo, Chao, Jain, Nidhi, Wilson, Guy C., Wang, Yi, Baker, Michael K., Williamson, Dominique, Foroughi, Nasim, Fiatarone Singh, Maria A.


BMC Geriatrics, Volume: 11, Pages.: 19-19

Year of Publication



Background: The extent to which mental and physical exercise may slow cognitive decline in adults with early signs of cognitive impairment is unknown. This article provides the rationale and methodology of the first trial to investigate the isolated and combined effects of cognitive training (CT) and progressive resistance training (PRT) on general cognitive function and functional independence in older adults with early cognitive impairment: Study of Mental and Regular Training (SMART). Our secondary aim is to quantify the differential adaptations to these interventions in terms of brain morphology and function, cardiovascular and metabolic function, exercise capacity, psychological state and body composition, to identify the potential mechanisms of benefit and broader health status effects.; Methods: SMART is a double-blind randomized, double sham-controlled trial. One hundred and thirty-two community-dwelling volunteers will be recruited. Primary inclusion criteria are: at risk for cognitive decline as defined by neuropsychology assessment, low physical activity levels, stable disease, and age over 55 years. The two active interventions are computerized CT and whole body, high intensity PRT. The two sham interventions are educational videos and seated calisthenics. Participants are randomized into 1 of 4 supervised training groups (2 d/wk×6 mo) in a fully factorial design. Primary outcomes measured at baseline, 6, and 18 months are the Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale (ADAS-Cog), neuropsychological test scores, and Bayer Informant Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (B-IADLs). Secondary outcomes are psychological well-being, quality of life, cardiovascular and musculoskeletal function, body composition, insulin resistance, systemic inflammation and anabolic/neurotrophic hormones, and brain morphology and function via Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Spectroscopy (fMRS).; Discussion: SMART will provide a novel evaluation of the immediate and long term benefits of CT, PRT, and combined CT and PRT on global cognitive function and brain morphology, as well as potential underlying mechanisms of adaptation in older adults at risk of further cognitive decline.; Trial Registration: Australia and New Zealand Clinical Trials Register (ANZCTR): ANZCTRN12608000489392.;

Bibtex Citation

@article{Gates_2011, doi = {10.1186/1471-2318-11-19}, url = {}, year = 2011, month = {apr}, publisher = {Springer Nature}, volume = {11}, number = {1}, author = {Nicola J Gates and Michael Valenzuela and Perminder S Sachdev and Nalin A Singh and Bernhard T Baune and Henry Brodaty and Chao Suo and Nidhi Jain and Guy C Wilson and Yi Wang and Michael K Baker and Dominique Williamson and Nasim Foroughi and Maria A Fiatarone Singh}, title = {Study of Mental Activity and Regular Training ({SMART}) in at risk individuals: A randomised double blind, sham controlled, longitudinal trial}, journal = {{BMC} Geriatr} }


aged, aged, 80 and over, alzheimer disease, cognition, cognitive, double-blind method, female, humans, longitudinal studies, male, memory disorders, methods, middle aged, motor activity, physiology, psychology, resistance training, risk factors, therapy, training

Countries of Study


Types of Dementia

Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)

Type of Outcomes

ADLs/IADLs, Behaviour, Cognition, Physical Health, Quality of Life of Person With Dementia


Extra Care Housing

Type of Interventions

Non-pharmacological Treatment

Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions

Adult safeguarding and abuse detection/prevention, Exercise (inc. dancing)