Aerobic exercise improves cognitive function in older adults with vascular cognitive impairment, according to this recent study by Liu-Ambrose and colleagues. 70 subjects with mild vascular cognitive impairment were assigned to thrice-weekly aerobic exercise and usual care including patient education, or usual care only. At 6 months, cognitive function scale score and diastolic blood pressure — a key risk factor for vascular cognitive impairment — were improved in the exercise group; however, 6 months after the intervention ended, no significant difference was observed between the exercise and control groups, suggesting that long-term intervention is needed for a lasting benefit.
Liu-Ambrose T, Best JR, Davis JC, Eng JJ, Lee PE, Jacova C, Boyd LA, Brasher PM, Munkacsy M, Cheung W, Hsiung G-Y: Aerobic Exercise and Vascular Cognitive Impairment, A randomized controlled trial. Neurology [Epub ahead of print, October 19, 2016; doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000003332].