Ageing Res Rev. 2023 Sep 11:102071. doi: 10.1016/j.arr.2023.102071. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Exercise is a promising nonpharmacological treatment for improving depression in older adults with MCI, but it is unclear which exercises are most effective. The objectives of this study were to compare and rank the effectiveness of various exercise interventions for depression in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and to investigate the effects of exercise on depression.
METHODS: The PRISMA-NMA guidelines were applied to the development and reporting of review criteria. The Cochrane Library, Web of Science, PsycINFO, PubMed, EMBASE, CINAHL, and Scopus databases were systematically searched by combining search terms for randomized controlled trial studies (RCTs) published in English from individual databases with the earliest available date set to March 10, 2023. Two evaluators independently selected and evaluated eligible studies of changes in depression in older adults with MCI after an exercise intervention. A protocol for this systematic review was registered in PROSPERO (Registration number: CRD42022377052).
RESULTS: A network meta-analysis was conducted on 15 eligible RCTs consisting of 4271 subjects, including aerobic (n = 6), mind-body (n = 6) and multicomponent (n = 3) exercise trials. Compared to controls, mind-body exercise showed the strongest improvement in depressive symptoms (SMD = -0.63, 95% CI: -1.13, -0.14), followed by aerobic (SMD = -0.57, 95% CI: -0.88, -0.26) and multicomponent exercise (SMD = -0.53, 95% CI: -1.02, -0.03). Notably, there were no statistically significant differences between exercise types: aerobic vs. mind-body (SMD = 0.06, 95% PrI: -0.71, 0.84), multicomponent vs. mind-body (SMD = 0.11, 95% PrI: -0.75, 0.97), or multicomponent vs. aerobic (SMD = 0.04, 95% PrI: -0.771, 0.86).
CONCLUSIONS: In this review, we found that mind-body exercise was most effective when compared to conventional controls and that multiple exercise modalities (aerobic, mind-body, and multicomponent exercise) had beneficial and comparable effects in reducing depressive states in older adults with MCI. These findings may guide clinical geriatric stakeholders and allied health professionals in providing more scientifically optimal exercise prescriptions for older adults with MCI. In the future, more high-quality, long-term clinical trials are needed to support the exploration of longer-term dynamic effects.