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Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2009 Jul;24(7):680-5. doi: 10.1002/gps.2175.

Evaluation of a home-based exercise program in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease: the Maximizing Independence in Dementia (MIND) study.

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John Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Baltimore, MD, USA.



To determine the feasibility and efficacy of a home-based exercise intervention program to improve the functional performance of patients with Alzheimer's Disease (AD).


Twenty-seven home-dwelling patients with AD were randomized to either an exercise intervention program delivered by their caregivers or a home safety assessment control. Measures of functional performance (primary), cognition, neuropsychiatric symptoms, quality of life and caregiver burden (secondary) were obtained at baseline and at 6 and 12 weeks following randomization. For each outcome measure, intent-to-treat analyses using linear random effects models were performed. Feasibility and adverse events were also assessed.


Adherence to the exercise program was good. On the primary outcomes (functional performance) patients in the exercise group demonstrated a trend for improved performance on measures of hand function and lower extremity strength. On secondary outcome measures, trends toward worse depression and lower quality of life ratings were noted.


The physical exercise intervention developed for the study, delivered by caregivers to home-dwelling patients with AD, was feasible and was associated with a trend for improved functional performance in this group of frail patients. Given the limited efficacy to date of pharmacotherapies for AD, further study of exercise intervention, in a variety of care setting, is warranted.

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