PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of dual-task training with cognitive tasks on cognitive functions and β-amyloid levels in the elderly with mild dementia.
METHODS: The subjects were 36 elderly inpatients diagnosed with mild dementia at S Hospital located in Gyeongsangbuk-do, South Korea. The patients were randomly divided into a dual-task training group (DTG; n = 18) or a single-task training group (STG; n = 18). DTG performed dual-task training with cognitive tasks while STG performed only exercise tasks. These groups performed their respective exercises during a 30-minute session occurring three times a week over an 8-week period. MMSE-K and GDS were used to measure the subjects’ cognitive function. To assess the subjects’ dementia-related factors, their β-amyloid levels were measured by blood analysis.
RESULTS: The results of the experiment were as follows:DTG showed statistically significant differences between their MMSE-K scores and β-amyloid levels before and after training (p < .05), whereas they exhibited no statistically significant differences in their GDS scores. MMSE-K scores and β-amyloid levels were significantly different between DTG and STG after training.
CONCLUSION: The present study’s overall results indicate that dual-task training with cognitive tasks is more effective than single-task training in improving cognitive functions and β-amyloid levels in the elderly with mild dementia. In other words, regular dual-task training can be considered as effective in improving cognitive function and dementia-related factors in the elderly with mild dementia and thus may be suggested as an effective exercise method for the treatment and early prevention of dementia.