Jun 142012

The Study of Mental and Regular Training (SMART) examines the extent to which mental and physical exercise slows cognitive decline in adults with early signs of cognitive impairment to prevent dementia.  It is the first trial to investigate the isolated and combined effects of cognitive training (CT) and progressive resistance training (PRT) to benefit general cognitive function  and to quantify the differential adaptations to these interventions in terms of brain morphology and function, health and body composition, and broader health status effects including quality of life and wellbeing.

SMART is a double-blind randomized controlled trial of one hundred community-dwelling volunteers aged over 55 years.  Participants complete supervised training twice per week for six months and complete assessments at baseline, after training at six months, and at 18 month follow-up.  Outcome measures are the Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale (ADAS-Cog), neuropsychological test scores, and Bayer Informant Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (B-IADLs), psychological wellbeing, 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).

SMART is a unique and thoroughly designed collaborative study and will provide a novel evaluation of the immediate and long term benefits of cognitive and resistance 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: ANZCTR Reference No. 83075 and ACTN registry no. Protocol No: X08-0064