Search
What are you looking for?
Start main content

Press Releases

Press Releases

https://www.med.cuhk.edu.hk/press-releases/cuhk-research-reveals-that-physical-and-cognitive-activities-can-maintain-and-improve-brain-functions-of-patients-with-mild-cognitive-impairments
https://www.med.cuhk.edu.hk/press-releases/cuhk-research-reveals-that-physical-and-cognitive-activities-can-maintain-and-improve-brain-functions-of-patients-with-mild-cognitive-impairments

CUHK Research Reveals that Physical and Cognitive Activities can Maintain and Improve Brain Functions of Patients with Mild Cognitive Impairments

A study conducted by the Department of Psychiatry of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) reveals that structured physical exercises and cognitive activities may help enhance cognitive functions of the elderly, thereby reducing the risk of cognitive impairment (dementia). The Simon K Y Lee Elderly Fund (the Fund) which commissioned CUHK to conduct the study will launch a programme named ‘Active Prevention & Early Detection of Cognitive Impairment’ for the public and it suggests the Government to promote related activities to the elderly.

 

(From left) Ms. Mabel Lee, Board Member, Simon K Y Lee Elderly Fund; Professor Linda Lam, Chairman, Department of Psychiatry, CUHK Faculty of Medicine; Ms Hung Yau Mui, the participant; Ms. Joe Wong, District Supervisor (Elderly Service), Baptist Oi Kwan Social Service and the representatives from two NGOs

(From left) Ms. Mabel Lee, Board Member, Simon K Y Lee Elderly Fund; Professor Linda Lam, Chairman, Department of Psychiatry, CUHK Faculty of Medicine; Ms Hung Yau Mui, the participant; Ms. Joe Wong, District Supervisor (Elderly Service), Baptist Oi Kwan Social Service and the representatives from two NGOs

It is estimated that over 9% of the population aged 70 or above in Hong Kong suffers cognitive impairment and the number is likely to increase as the population ages. However, there is currently no radical cure for the disease. The Fund thus commissioned the Department of Psychiatry of CUHK to conduct a study from 2011 to 2013 to examine the effectiveness of structured physical and cognitive activities in enhancing brain functions of the elderly. A total of 555 elders (121 male; 434 female; median age 75) with mild cognitive impairments were recruited from three non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to join the study. They were randomly arranged to follow four activity schedules for a year, under the guidance of the elderly centres’ staff. The four activity schedules were:

 

  1. Integrated Cognitive-Physical (CP): e.g. tai-chi, eight-brocade exercise, square stepping exercise, drawing, calligraphy, etc. (132 elders)
  2. Physical (P): e.g. tai-chi, eight-brocade exercise, square stepping exercise, cycling, etc. (147 elders)
  3. Cognitive (C): e.g. chess, table game, drawing, calligraphy etc.(145 elders)
  4. Social (S): e.g. group gathering, tea-drinking, horticulture etc. (131 elders)

 

A total of 423 participants completed the study and were assessed at the 4th month, the 8th month and the 12th month since they started the activities. The results indicated an overall improvement in their cognitive functions and depressive symptoms were alleviated. 56% of the participants showed improvement in cognitive functioning, 37% maintained the same level and only 7% retrograded (4% of which developed into cognitive impairment).

 

The participants were further categorized into two groups – with ‘mild cognitive impairment’ (325 elders, 59%) and with ‘very mild cognitive impairment' 230 elders, 41%). In the latter category, those joining the CP schedule showed more obvious improvement in memory and verbal fluency compared to the other three schedules.

Professor Linda Lam introduces how structured physical and cognitive activities can help enhance their cognitive functions of the elderly

Professor Linda Lam introduces how structured physical and cognitive activities can help enhance their cognitive functions of the elderly

Mrs. Mabel Lee, Board Member of the Fund, suggests the Government to allocate resources so as to reduce the threats cognitive impairment may bring to individuals, families and society

Mrs. Mabel Lee, Board Member of the Fund, suggests the Government to allocate resources so as to reduce the threats cognitive impairment may bring to individuals, families and society

Prof. Linda Lam said, ‘In conclusion, structured physical and cognitive activities are effective in helping the elderly to improve their cognitive functions. At earlier stage of impairment, integrated cognitive-physical activities are more effective compared to single-activity approach. Sensory and motor stimulations can help maintain the activity of neuronal networks, while physical exercises can prompt the release of neurotrophic factor. In addition, social activities can help reduce stress and depression.’

 

In view of the above study results, the Simon K Y Lee Elderly Fund is going to launch the ‘Active Prevention & Early Detection of Cognitive Impairment Project’, offering funding to support NGOs to provide preliminary assessments and structured physical exercises and cognitive activities training for elders. The programme will also promote community education and engage young elders aged 50 to 70 as volunteers. It is expected that 800 elders with mild cognitive impairment will benefit from the programme. Mrs. Mabel Lee, Board Member of the Fund, says, ‘The Fund has been working with the social welfare sector and the academia to promote early detection and early intervention of cognitive impairment since 2008. However, it is impossible to solely rely on private foundations or NGOs to tackle the problem in the long run. The study by CUHK has suggested an evidence-based and feasible intervention, and so we urge the Government to allocate resources to promote it to the community and encourage them to take precautions, reducing the threats cognitive impairment may bring to individuals, families and society.’

More Press Releases

Sign up now: take action from mid-life to maintain healthy brain

Sign up now: take action from mid-life to maintain healthy brain

Research
CUHK Opens Therese Pei Fong Chow Research Centre for Prevention of Dementia and Establishes a One-stop Online Platform to Provide Information on Dementia

CUHK Opens Therese Pei Fong Chow Research Centre for Prevention of Dementia and Establishes a One-stop Online Platform to Provide Information on Dementia

Research
CUHK Sets up the Global First Research Registry on Early Onset Dementia in Chinese Population

CUHK Sets up the Global First Research Registry on Early Onset Dementia in Chinese Population

Research
Joint Study by CUHK and HKSH Reveals Patients with Comorbid REM Sleep Behavior Disorder and Depression may Suffer from Early-stage Neurodegeneration

Joint Study by CUHK and HKSH Reveals Patients with Comorbid REM Sleep Behavior Disorder and Depression may Suffer from Early-stage Neurodegeneration

Research
CUHK Survey Reveals Relationship between Exercise Pattern and Emotional Health among Hong Kong People Mind-body Exercise Helps Reduce Risk of Mood Disorders

CUHK Survey Reveals Relationship between Exercise Pattern and Emotional Health among Hong Kong People Mind-body Exercise Helps Reduce Risk of Mood Disorders

Research
CU Medicine Announces the Community Response Study Results During the Early Phase of the COVID-19 Outbreak in Hong Kong

CU Medicine Announces the Community Response Study Results During the Early Phase of the COVID-19 Outbreak in Hong Kong

Research
The Helmsley Charitable Trust Funds Asian Research into Babies’ Gut Microbiota and Crohn’s Disease

The Helmsley Charitable Trust Funds Asian Research into Babies’ Gut Microbiota and Crohn’s Disease

Research
CUHK Study Sees the Exposure to Farm Environment  Is Beneficial for Children to Prevent Asthma

CUHK Study Sees the Exposure to Farm Environment Is Beneficial for Children to Prevent Asthma

Research
Chinese Women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome have 4-fold Higher Risk of Developing Diabetes

Chinese Women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome have 4-fold Higher Risk of Developing Diabetes

Research
Multicomponent Frailty Prevention Programme Reduces Frailty Over 80% of Pre-frail Elderly Reverse to Robust Phenotype

Multicomponent Frailty Prevention Programme Reduces Frailty Over 80% of Pre-frail Elderly Reverse to Robust Phenotype

Research
CUHK Validates the Enhanced UK Fetal Medicine Foundation’s Triple Test Can Double the Detection Rate of Preterm Preeclampsia in Asian Pregnant Women

CUHK Validates the Enhanced UK Fetal Medicine Foundation’s Triple Test Can Double the Detection Rate of Preterm Preeclampsia in Asian Pregnant Women

Research
CUHK Pioneers Whole Genome Sequencing for Prenatal Diagnosis in Hong Kong

CUHK Pioneers Whole Genome Sequencing for Prenatal Diagnosis in Hong Kong

Research
CUHK Conducts World’s First Family Study on Rapid Eye Movement Sleep Behaviour Disorder to Investigate Familial Link with Parkinson’s Disease

CUHK Conducts World’s First Family Study on Rapid Eye Movement Sleep Behaviour Disorder to Investigate Familial Link with Parkinson’s Disease

Research
CUHK Pioneers in Developing Standardised Tests for Screening Cognitive Impairment in the Ageing Population in Hong Kong

CUHK Pioneers in Developing Standardised Tests for Screening Cognitive Impairment in the Ageing Population in Hong Kong

Clinical service
CUHK Leads a Multinational Study that Finds New Treatment Paradigm of Mutated Lung Cancer

CUHK Leads a Multinational Study that Finds New Treatment Paradigm of Mutated Lung Cancer

Research
CUHK-led Study Reveals Novel Mechanism for the Development of Atherosclerosis Setting New Treatment Directions to Cardiovascular Diseases

CUHK-led Study Reveals Novel Mechanism for the Development of Atherosclerosis Setting New Treatment Directions to Cardiovascular Diseases

Research
CUHK Launches World’s First Study on Ovum Ageing and Female Infertility by Using Single-Cell Genomics Technology

CUHK Launches World’s First Study on Ovum Ageing and Female Infertility by Using Single-Cell Genomics Technology

Research
CUHK World’s First Study Sets a New Direction on Aspirin Use after Lower Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage

CUHK World’s First Study Sets a New Direction on Aspirin Use after Lower Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage

Research
CUHK Discovers Fatty Liver Causing Severe Liver Fibrosis or Cirrhosis in 1 Out of 5 Diabetic Patients

CUHK Discovers Fatty Liver Causing Severe Liver Fibrosis or Cirrhosis in 1 Out of 5 Diabetic Patients

Research
CUHK World’s First Study Confirms A New Colorectal Cancer High Risk Group

CUHK World’s First Study Confirms A New Colorectal Cancer High Risk Group

Research
CUHK Asia’s First Comprehensive Epidemiological Study on Health Impact of Household Cleaning Products on Children Reveals Frequent Use of Household Cleaning Products Increase Risk of Triggering Rhinitis in Children

CUHK Asia’s First Comprehensive Epidemiological Study on Health Impact of Household Cleaning Products on Children Reveals Frequent Use of Household Cleaning Products Increase Risk of Triggering Rhinitis in Children

Research
CUHK and HKU Researchers Introduce 3D Printing Technology in Complex Cardiac Surgery Procedures

CUHK and HKU Researchers Introduce 3D Printing Technology in Complex Cardiac Surgery Procedures

Research
CUHK Jointly Discovers New Therapeutic Solution for Minor Stroke in Global Study with over 30 Countries

CUHK Jointly Discovers New Therapeutic Solution for Minor Stroke in Global Study with over 30 Countries

Research
CUHK Sees Early Evaluation of TIA Patients Reduce Rate of Stroke by 70% in a Global Study of 21 Countries

CUHK Sees Early Evaluation of TIA Patients Reduce Rate of Stroke by 70% in a Global Study of 21 Countries

Research
CUHK Research Shows 1 in 5 Throat Cancer Patients in HK is HPV infected

CUHK Research Shows 1 in 5 Throat Cancer Patients in HK is HPV infected

Research
CUHK Conducts Hong Kong’s First Study on Seven Common Respiratory Viruses Revealing Respiratory Syncytial Virus and Influenza A as Prevalent Fatal Types

CUHK Conducts Hong Kong’s First Study on Seven Common Respiratory Viruses Revealing Respiratory Syncytial Virus and Influenza A as Prevalent Fatal Types

Research
CUHK/International Study Implicates a Gene in Alzheimer’s disease

CUHK/International Study Implicates a Gene in Alzheimer’s disease

Research
CUHK Launches Hong Kong’s First Pilot Integrative Medicine Programme in Multiple Sclerosis for Managing Cognitive Symptoms, Relieving Fatigue, and Disease Control

CUHK Launches Hong Kong’s First Pilot Integrative Medicine Programme in Multiple Sclerosis for Managing Cognitive Symptoms, Relieving Fatigue, and Disease Control

Research
Asia’s First Research by CUHK on Patients’ Lifestyle Reveals Personalised Modification Programme Effective in Reducing Severity of OSA

Asia’s First Research by CUHK on Patients’ Lifestyle Reveals Personalised Modification Programme Effective in Reducing Severity of OSA

Research
CUHK Screening Reveals 1 in 3 Older Adults in Community Suffer Brain Small Vessel Disease, Early Prevention Recommended

CUHK Screening Reveals 1 in 3 Older Adults in Community Suffer Brain Small Vessel Disease, Early Prevention Recommended

Clinical service
CUHK Latest Research Reveals FMT Effectiveness Triples that of Conventional Treatment

CUHK Latest Research Reveals FMT Effectiveness Triples that of Conventional Treatment

Research
CUHK Introduces New Material for Osteoporosis-related Bone Fracture Effectively Reduces Healing Time and Enhances Bone Strength Both by 30%

CUHK Introduces New Material for Osteoporosis-related Bone Fracture Effectively Reduces Healing Time and Enhances Bone Strength Both by 30%

Research
CUHK Highlights the Significance of Hospital Infection Control System in Controlling MERS

CUHK Highlights the Significance of Hospital Infection Control System in Controlling MERS

Research
CUHK Estimates Local Smokers Spend over HKD1 Million on Tobacco in Life

CUHK Estimates Local Smokers Spend over HKD1 Million on Tobacco in Life

Research
CUHK Advocates Stringent Control of Cardiovascular Risks for Reopening of Narrowed Brain Arteries - A New Paradigm to Prevent Recurrent Stroke (Available in Chinese only)

CUHK Advocates Stringent Control of Cardiovascular Risks for Reopening of Narrowed Brain Arteries - A New Paradigm to Prevent Recurrent Stroke (Available in Chinese only)

Research
CUHK Latest Research Reveals over 100,000 New Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Cases in Hong Kong Annually

CUHK Latest Research Reveals over 100,000 New Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Cases in Hong Kong Annually

Research
CUHK Reveals Hepatitis B Prevalence Among Pregnant Women Remains High Despite More Than 25 Years of Universal Hepatitis B Vaccination

CUHK Reveals Hepatitis B Prevalence Among Pregnant Women Remains High Despite More Than 25 Years of Universal Hepatitis B Vaccination

Research
CUHK Research by Medical Undergraduates Reveals Poor Medication Adherence Among Hypertensive Patients in Hong Kong

CUHK Research by Medical Undergraduates Reveals Poor Medication Adherence Among Hypertensive Patients in Hong Kong

Research
CUHK Study Reveals Peer Support Can Reduce Hospital Admission of Distressed Diabetes Patients

CUHK Study Reveals Peer Support Can Reduce Hospital Admission of Distressed Diabetes Patients

Research
Screening Reveals Over 50% Community-dwelling Population Aged 65 or above are Pre-frail

Screening Reveals Over 50% Community-dwelling Population Aged 65 or above are Pre-frail

Research
CUHK Succeeded in Animal Study and Clinical Case of Percutaneous Nanoknife New Breakthrough in Cancer Treatment

CUHK Succeeded in Animal Study and Clinical Case of Percutaneous Nanoknife New Breakthrough in Cancer Treatment

Research
CUHK Opens Phase I Clinical Trial Centre To Step Up New Drug Development in Hong Kong

CUHK Opens Phase I Clinical Trial Centre To Step Up New Drug Development in Hong Kong

Research
CUHK Establishes State Key Laboratory of Digestive Disease to Improve Diagnosis and Treatment of Digestive Diseases

CUHK Establishes State Key Laboratory of Digestive Disease to Improve Diagnosis and Treatment of Digestive Diseases

Research
CUHK Releases Research Results on Employment Status of Hong Kong Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) Dialysis Patients and Promotes Predialysis Education Programme for Mid to Late Stage CKD patients

CUHK Releases Research Results on Employment Status of Hong Kong Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) Dialysis Patients and Promotes Predialysis Education Programme for Mid to Late Stage CKD patients

Research
CUHK Conducts Asia's Largest Clinical Study on Life-threatening Infections caused by RSV and Influenza in Hong Kong Adults and Elderly

CUHK Conducts Asia's Largest Clinical Study on Life-threatening Infections caused by RSV and Influenza in Hong Kong Adults and Elderly

Research
CUHK Announces Latest Medical Treatment for Minor Stroke

CUHK Announces Latest Medical Treatment for Minor Stroke

Research
Hong Kong and Macau Among Top Three Regions in Asia-Pacific with the Highest Incidence of Inflammatory Bowel Disease CUHK Establishes Registry to Increase Public Awareness

Hong Kong and Macau Among Top Three Regions in Asia-Pacific with the Highest Incidence of Inflammatory Bowel Disease CUHK Establishes Registry to Increase Public Awareness

Research
CUHK Assessed and Treated Over 300 Young Ketamine Abusers with Urinary Tract Dysfunction Latest Research Reveals Effectiveness of Integrated Anti-inflammatory Therapy

CUHK Assessed and Treated Over 300 Young Ketamine Abusers with Urinary Tract Dysfunction Latest Research Reveals Effectiveness of Integrated Anti-inflammatory Therapy

Research
CUHK Launches Territory-wide Screening Study for Early Detection of Nasopharynx Cancer Now Recruiting 20,000 Citizens to Join

CUHK Launches Territory-wide Screening Study for Early Detection of Nasopharynx Cancer Now Recruiting 20,000 Citizens to Join

Research
CUHK Research Reveals Impact of Mild Hearing Loss on School Children Now Recruiting Hearing Impaired Students for Research on Efficacy of Intervention

CUHK Research Reveals Impact of Mild Hearing Loss on School Children Now Recruiting Hearing Impaired Students for Research on Efficacy of Intervention

Research
CUHK discovers that 40% of Individuals at Risk of Coronary Heart Disease have Pre-cancerous Bowel Tumors

CUHK discovers that 40% of Individuals at Risk of Coronary Heart Disease have Pre-cancerous Bowel Tumors

Research
CUHK Advocates Palliative Care for Advanced Dementia Patients with Swallowing Problems

CUHK Advocates Palliative Care for Advanced Dementia Patients with Swallowing Problems

Research

Our Expert List

Many experts under the Faculty of Medicine are available for media interview.
Please click here for the expert list or contact us.