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Rev Bras Fisioter. 2010 Jan-Feb;14(1):68-74.

[Effects of physical activity on cognitive functions, balance and risk of falls in elderly patients with Alzheimer's dementia].

[Article in Portuguese]

Author information

1
Laboratório de Atividade Física e Envelhecimento, Universidade Estadual Paulista, Rio Claro, SP, Brasil. salma_soleman@yahoo.com.br

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To analyze the effects of regular, systematic and supervised activity on the cognitive functions, balance and risk of falls of elderly patients with Alzheimer's Dementia (AD).

METHODS:

Sixteen elderly patients (mean age 78.5+/-6.8 years) were divided into two groups: intervention group (IG; n=9) and routine group (RG; n=7). The IG exercised systematically for six months, and both groups were submitted to the following tests: Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Berg Balance Scale (BBS), Timed Up-and-Go (TUG) and the agility/dynamic balance (AGIBAL) item of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD) test battery.

RESULTS:

There was a statistically significant interaction (two-way ANOVA; F1,14=32.07; p=0.01) between groups and moments for the AGIBAL. The Mann Whitney U test indicated significant differences between groups (p=0.03), only at the post-intervention moment for the TUG measured in steps and for BBS. Therefore, no significant intergroup differences were found for the TUG, BBS and MMSE at the pre-intervention moment or at post-intervention moment for the TUG measured in seconds and MMSE. The intragroup analysis by means of the Wilcoxon test showed a significant decline in the TUG, BBS and MMSE for the RG, but not for the IG. Spearman's coefficient showed a significant correlation between the results of the MMSE and AGIBAL.

CONCLUSIONS:

Physical activity may be an important non-pharmacological approach that can benefit cognitive functions and balance and reduce the risk of falls. Moreover, agility and balance are associated with cognitive functions in elderly patients with AD.

PMID:
20414564
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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