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J Appl Gerontol. 2013 Dec 11. [Epub ahead of print]

Impact of 6-Month Aerobic Exercise on Alzheimer's Symptoms.

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  • 1University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA.


Little is known about how aerobic exercise affects Alzheimer's disease (AD). The purpose of this pilot study was to test the impact of 6-month cycling on AD symptoms in community-dwelling older adults with mild-to-moderate AD, using a single-group, repeated-measures design (n = 26). AD symptoms were measured with the AD Assessment Scale-Cognitive (ADAS-Cog), Disability in AD (DAD), and Neuropsychiatric Inventory-Caregiver (NPI-Q) scales at baseline, 3 and 6 months. Data were analyzed using mixed linear models. The ADAS-Cog, DAD, and NPI-Q severity scores remained unchanged over the 6-month period, while caregiver distress decreased 40% (p < .05). We conclude that aerobic exercise may reduce AD symptoms and appears effective in decreasing caregiver distress. Further randomized controlled trials are needed to examine the effects of aerobic exercise in AD.


Alzheimer’s disease; aging; cognition; dementia; exercise

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