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Trial registered on ANZCTR

Registration number
Ethics application status
Date submitted
Date registered
Date last updated
Type of registration
Prospectively registered

Titles & IDs
Public title
Efficacy of resistance training for the prevention of cognitive decline.
Scientific title
Efficacy of resistance training for the prevention of cognitive decline in healthy older adults.
Secondary ID [1] 289261 0
Universal Trial Number (UTN)
Trial acronym
Linked study record

Health condition
Health condition(s) or problem(s) studied:
Cognitive decline 298840 0
Condition category
Condition code
Mental Health 298902 298902 0 0
Other mental health disorders
Neurological 298969 298969 0 0
Other neurological disorders

Study type
Description of intervention(s) / exposure
Participants allocated to either of the two resistance exercise group will be required to attend 12 weeks of twice a week resistance training of particular prescription (i.e. strength or hypertrophy). Session durations will be 70 minutes for strength training, and 30 minutes for hypertrophy training. The strength protocol will consist of five sets of five repetitions of a weight that can only be lifted maximally for five repetitions (i.e., 5 repetition maximum or 5 RM) followed by three minutes of passive recovery period between each set and exercise. The hypertrophy protocol will consist of three sets of ten repetitions at a 10 RM weight followed by one minute of passive recovery between sets and exercises. Sessions will be conducted by an accredited Exercise Physiologist at the Rehabilitation and Conditioning Laboratory at Murdoch University in small group sessions; however, one-on-one sessions will be common. Participants will perform four exercises per session at the respective RM and repetition range. The chosen exercises are bench press, incline leg press, latissimus dorsi pull-down and leg extension. As per participant tolerance, resistance will be increased from 2.5-5% per week over the intervention. Adherence will be monitored through attendance.
Intervention code [1] 294806 0
Comparator / control treatment
A control group will run in parallel in which participants will be asked to maintain current lifestyle and exercise habits. Physical activity habits of all groups will be assessed using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire which will account for activity within the last 7 days.
Control group

Primary outcome [1] 298374 0
Cognitive function will be assessed using the CogState battery plus Rey Complex Figure, Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test, Controlled Oral Word Association Test, Category Fluency, Trail Making Test Parts A & B, Montreal Cognitive Assessment, Digit Span and Digit Symbol Substitution Test.
Timepoint [1] 298374 0
Baseline and 12 weeks.
Secondary outcome [1] 323963 0
Frontal lobe tissue oxygenation via near-infrared spectroscopy
Timepoint [1] 323963 0
Baseline and 12 weeks.
Secondary outcome [2] 323964 0
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor by serum ELISA.
Timepoint [2] 323964 0
Baseline and 12 weeks.
Secondary outcome [3] 323965 0
Insulin-like growth factor 1 by serum ELISA.
Timepoint [3] 323965 0
Baseline and 12 weeks.
Secondary outcome [4] 323966 0
Vascular endothelial growth factor by plasma ELISA.
Timepoint [4] 323966 0
Baseline and 12 weeks.
Secondary outcome [5] 323967 0
Endothelial nitric oxide synthase by plasma ELISA.
Timepoint [5] 323967 0
Baseline and 12 weeks.
Secondary outcome [6] 323968 0
Body composition via dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry
Timepoint [6] 323968 0
Baseline, 6 weeks, 12 weeks.

Key inclusion criteria
Considered low to moderate risk for moderate intensity exercise as per Exercise and Sports Science Australia risk stratification. Participants should be considered healthy.
Minimum age
40 Years
Maximum age
70 Years
Both males and females
Can healthy volunteers participate?
Key exclusion criteria
1. Have more than two risk factors in the Exercise and Sports Science Australia pre-exercise screening tool questionnaire
2. Present with chronic musculoskeletal disease or injury
3. Show signs of mild cognitive impairment or dementia
4. Are a current smoker
5. Are currently taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor medication (Citalopram [Celexa], Escitalopram [Lexapro], Fluoxetine [Prozac], Paroxetine [Paxil, Pexeva] or Sertraline [Zoloft])
6. Have a history of neurological disease

Study design
Purpose of the study
Allocation to intervention
Randomised controlled trial
Procedure for enrolling a subject and allocating the treatment (allocation concealment procedures)
Allocation is not concealed. Automatic allocation to treatment groups using minimisation software.
Methods used to generate the sequence in which subjects will be randomised (sequence generation)
Minimisation and stratifying for age, gender and APOE 4 carrier status.
Masking / blinding
Blinded (masking used)
Who is / are masked / blinded?

The people assessing the outcomes
Intervention assignment
Other design features
Not Applicable
Type of endpoint(s)
Statistical methods / analysis
The proposed sample size was calculated at a power of 80% and alpha level of 0.05 based on the magnitude of change (Cohen’s d = 0.4; f = 0.2) necessary to observe a small to moderate change in cognitive function between conditions. Linear mixed modelling will be used to assess changes in blood biomarkers and cognitive function scores pre- to post- exercise intervention, and for changes between intervention conditions. Significant main effects or interactions will be assessed using a Fisher’s LSD post hoc analysis. All statistics will be analysed using SPSS (v.22, IBM; USA) with the level of significance set to p=0.05.

Recruitment status
Date of first participant enrolment
Date of last participant enrolment
Date of last data collection
Sample size
Accrual to date
Recruitment in Australia
Recruitment state(s)

Funding & Sponsors
Funding source category [1] 293644 0
Name [1] 293644 0
School of Psychology and Exercise Science, Murdoch University
Address [1] 293644 0
90 South Street, Murdoch, WA, 6150.
Country [1] 293644 0
Primary sponsor type
Murdoch University
90 South Street, Murdoch, WA, 6150
Secondary sponsor category [1] 292499 0
Name [1] 292499 0
Address [1] 292499 0
Country [1] 292499 0

Ethics approval
Ethics application status
Ethics committee name [1] 295103 0
Murdoch University Human Research Ethics & Integrity
Ethics committee address [1] 295103 0
90 South Street, Murdoch
WA, 6150
Ethics committee country [1] 295103 0
Date submitted for ethics approval [1] 295103 0
Approval date [1] 295103 0
Ethics approval number [1] 295103 0

Brief summary
Within an ageing population, high-intensity aerobic exercise has been suggested to enhance or maintain cognition; thus, providing evidence that exercise may help reduce the risk of dementia or delay the onset. Research examining the influence of resistance exercise; however, is currently lacking. This study will examine the influence of a 12 week high-intensity resistance training program in a healthy mid-life (40 to 70 years) population on cognitive function following the intervention. Furthermore, this study will examine change in cerebral blood flow and blood biomarkers associated with neural and vascular health to provide evidence for an effective cognition based resistance training program.
Trial website
Trial related presentations / publications
Public notes

Principal investigator
Name 66030 0
Mr Kieran Marston
Address 66030 0
Murdoch University
90 South Street
Country 66030 0
Phone 66030 0
Fax 66030 0
Email 66030 0
Contact person for public queries
Name 66031 0
Dr Jeremiah Peiffer
Address 66031 0
Murdoch University
90 South Street
Country 66031 0
Phone 66031 0
+61 8 9360 7603
Fax 66031 0
Email 66031 0
Contact person for scientific queries
Name 66032 0
Dr Jeremiah Peiffer
Address 66032 0
Murdoch University
90 South Street
Country 66032 0
Phone 66032 0
+61 8 9360 7603
Fax 66032 0
Email 66032 0

No information has been provided regarding IPD availability
Summary results
Have study results been published in a peer-reviewed journal?
Other publications
Have study results been made publicly available in another format?
Results – basic reporting
Results – plain English summary