Randomized trial of combined aerobic, resistance, and cognitive training to improve recovery from stroke: Feasibility and safety

Sebastian Koch, Eduard Tiozzo, Marialaura Simonetto, David Loewenstein, Clinton B. Wright, Chuanhui Dong, Antonio Bustillo, Miguel Perez-Pinzon, Kunjan R. Dave, Carolina M. Gutierrez, John E. Lewis, Marti Flothmann, M. Carolina Mendoza-Puccini, Barbara Junco, Zuzel Rodriguez, Joyce Gomes-Osman, Tatjana Rundek, Ralph L. Sacco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Physical exercise and cognitive training have been recommended to improve cognitive outcomes poststroke, but a multifaceted strategy including aerobic, resistance, and cognitive training to facilitate poststroke recovery has not been investigated. We aimed to assess the feasibility, adherence, and safety of a combined aerobic, resistance, and cognitive training intervention (CARET+CTI) after stroke. METHODS AND RESULTS: We prospectively randomized patients presenting with recent stroke to a comparison of a supervised 12-week CARET+CTI program and a control group receiving sham CARET+CTI. Participants were scheduled for 3 weekly CARET and CTI sessions. All participants underwent pre-and postintervention assessments of strength, endurance, and cognition. The primary outcomes were feasibility and adherence, defined as the ratio of scheduled and observed visits, and safety. We enrolled 131 participants, of whom 37 withdrew from the study. There were 17 (20%) withdrawals in the CARET+CTI and 20 (44%) in the control group. The observed-over-expected visit ratio was significantly higher in the intervention than in the control group (0.74±0.30 versus 0.54±0.38; P=0.003). A total of 99 adverse events were reported by 59 participants, none of which were serious and related to the intervention. Greater gains in physical, cognitive, and mood outcomes were found in the CARET+CTI group than in the control group, but were not statistically significant after adjustments. CONCLUSIONS: A CARET+CTI intervention, after stroke, is safe, feasible, and has satisfactory participant adherence over 12 weeks. REGISTRATION: URL: https://www.clini​caltr​ials.gov. Unique identifier: NCT02272426.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere015377
JournalJournal of the American Heart Association
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 18 2020


  • Cognitive training
  • Exercise
  • Randomized clinical trial
  • Stroke recovery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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