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Am J Alzheimers Dis Other Demen. 2011 Aug;26(5):381-8. doi: 10.1177/1533317511418956. Epub 2011 Aug 17.

Six-month walking program changes cognitive and ADL performance in patients with Alzheimer.

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Department of Neurological, Morphological and Motor Sciences, University of Verona, Italy.


Motor inactivity is typical in the later stages of Alzheimer's disease although there is evidence that physical exercise can reduce depression and enhance performance of daily activities. The aim of this study was to determine whether a walking program could reduce the functional and cognitive decline of elderly nursing home residents in the later stages of Alzheimer's disease. A total of 21 patients (84 ± 5 years) were randomly assigned to a walking program (WG) or to a control group (CG). A 6-minute walking test (6WT), the Barthel index of activities of daily living (ADLs), and Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) tests were performed before and after 24 weeks of the program. The WG showed significant improvement in the 6WT (20%) and ADLs (23%), while the CG decreased in MMSE (-47%), the WG had a slower decline (-13%). This study indicates that it is possible to stabilize the progressive cognitive dysfunctions in nursing home residents with Alzheimer's disease through a specific walking program.

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