Preventing Loss of Independence Through Exercise (PLIÉ) in Persons With Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)
a study on Mild Cognitive Impairment
Nearly 1 in 10 older Americans have dementia, which is a devastating condition that leads to a progressive loss of independence and functional status. Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is an intermediate stage between the expected cognitive decline of normal aging and the more-serious decline of dementia. The investigators have developed a novel, integrative exercise program called Preventing Loss of Independence through Exercise (PLIE) that incorporates elements from Eastern and Western exercise modalities and is designed to build and maintain the capacity to perform basic functional movements while increasing mindful body awareness and enhancing social connection. Pilot study results suggest that PLIE is associated with meaningful improvements in physical function, cognitive function and quality of life in individuals with dementia, as well as reduced caregiver burden. The goal of the current study is to perform a randomized, controlled trial to test the efficacy of PLIE in older adults who have MCI but who do not yet have dementia. The investigators will also investigate the neural mechanisms underlying PLIE by acquiring brain imaging measures.
The goal of the proposed study is to perform a randomized, controlled trial (RCT) to test the efficacy of a novel integrative exercise program called Preventing Loss of Independence through Exercise (PLIE) on function and quality of life in older adults living in the community with Mild cognitive impairment (MCI), which is an intermediate stage between the expected cognitive decline of normal aging and the more-serious decline of dementia.
Because current dementia medications have minimal impact on function and quality of life and do not stop or slow the disease course, it would be desirable if there were an intervention that could prevent or delay the onset of full-blown dementia. Moreover, there is growing evidence that behavioral interventions such as exercise have a variety of beneficial effects in individuals with dementia and MCI.
PLIE was developed based on recent discoveries in neuroscience and experimental psychology that have found that, although explicit memory (the ability to consciously recall new information) is impaired in individuals with dementia, implicit memory (unconscious learning that typically occurs through repeated exposure) is relatively preserved. Therefore, PLIE focuses on training procedural memory (unconscious learning of procedures) to build the strength and capacity to perform the movements that are most needed for daily function (e.g., transitioning safely from sitting to standing). In addition, to maximize the benefits of the training, PLIE integrates elements of Eastern and Western exercise modalities to develop mindful body awareness and enhance social connection.
The investigators have completed a pilot study of the PLIE program at an adult day center in San Francisco, CA. Results suggest that PLIE was associated with clinically meaningful improvements in cognitive function, physical performance and quality of life as well as reduced caregiver burden when compared with usual care at the facility. The current study will enable the investigators to build on this pilot study results by performing a RCT of PLIE for individuals who have MCI but who do not yet have dementia.
Study participants will be randomly assigned to receive the PLIE intervention program (1 hour, 2 days/week, 4 months) or Usual Care (UC) control (standard senior center activities, 1 hour, 2 days/week, 4 months) (N=40, 20/group) using a wait-list design. The co-primary outcomes are 4-month change in physical function (Short Physical Performance Battery, SPPB), cognitive function (Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale - cognitive subscale, ADAS-cog) and quality of life (Quality of Life in Alzheimer's Disease, QOL-AD). The investigators will also look at the 4-month change in the following neuroimaging measures: brain volume with structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), functional connectivity with resting-state functional MRI, cerebral perfusion with arterial-spin labeled MRI. To account for the wait-list design, all outcomes will be assessed at baseline, 4 months and 8 months.
The proposed project will address a critically important health problem related to optimizing functional status and quality of life in older individuals with MCI. The current study will utilize rigorous research methods to test the efficacy of an innovative and promising new program for older adults with MCI. If the program is successful, the investigators will work with VA and community-based organizations to implement PLIE more broadly.
Mild Cognitive Impairment Cognitive Dysfunction
You can join if…
Open to people ages 60 years and up
- diagnosis of Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) by primary care physician and/or neurologist
- English language fluency
- willing to attend PLIÉ classes 2 days/week
- ambulatory and able to take 2 steps without cane or walker; living in the community in a private home or apartment
You CAN'T join if...
- Behavioral or physical issues that would be disruptive or dangerous to themselves or others (e.g., active psychosis, drug abuse, severe behavioral issues)
- Unable to attend 2 PLIÉ classes/week during the study period
- Physical or mental health condition that would make participation difficult (e.g.,active psychosis, limited life expectancy)
- Contraindications to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), including claustrophobia severe enough to prevent MRI examination, and presence of ferrometallic objects in the body that would interfere with MRI examination and/or cause a safety risk (e.g., pace makers, implanted stimulators, pumps).
- Started dementia medication (cholinesterase inhibitor or memantine) in past 3 months
- Planning to start/change any psychotropic medication during the study period
- Current participation in another research study
- San Francisco VA Medical Center, San Francisco, CA not yet accepting patients
San Francisco, California, 94121, United States
Please contact me about this study
We will not share your information with anyone other than the team in charge of this study. Submitting your contact information does not obligate you to participate in research.
The study team should get back to you in a few business days.
You will also receive an email with next steps. Check your junk/spam folder if needed.
If you do not hear from the study team, please call 888-689-8273 and tell them you’re interested in study number NCT03526146.