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Int J Sports Med. 2008 Oct;29(10):845-50. doi: 10.1055/s-2008-1038432. Epub 2008 Apr 9.

Exercise training is beneficial for Alzheimer's patients.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, Universidad Europea de Madrid, Madrid, Spain.


Decreased ability to perform activities of daily living (ADLs) associated with deterioration in physical capacity are key determinants of the poor quality of life and loss of independence of patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of a 12-week training program (including resistance, flexibility, joint mobility and balance/coordination exercises) for Spanish patients with AD on their i) overall functional capacity (muscle strength and flexibility, agility and balance while moving, and endurance fitness), and ii) ability to perform ADLs. Using a randomized block design, 16 patients were assigned to a training (mean [SD] age: 76 [4] yrs) or control group (73 [4] yrs) (n = 8 subjects [3 male, 5 female] per group). The results showed significant improvements after training (p < 0.05) in upper and lower body muscle strength and flexibility, agility and dynamic balance, and endurance fitness (using the Senior Fitness test), gait and balance abilities (with subsequent decrease in risk of falls) (Tinetti scale) and in the ability to perform ADLs independently (Katz and Barthel scores). No changes (p > 0.05) were found in the control group over the 12-week period. Exercise training could be included in the overall medical/nursing care protocol for patients with AD.

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