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Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2014 Dec;29(12):1242-8. doi: 10.1002/gps.4096. Epub 2014 Apr 15.

Moderate-to-high intensity aerobic exercise in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease: a pilot study.

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1
Memory Disorders Research Group, Danish Dementia Research Center, Department of Neurology, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Physical exercise may modulate neuropathology and symptoms of Alzheimer's disease (AD). This pilot study assessed the feasibility of conducting a study of moderate-to-high intensity aerobic exercise in home-dwelling patients with mild AD.

METHODS:

An uncontrolled preintervention-postintervention test design with a single group receiving the same intervention. A total of eight patients with mild to moderate AD from the Copenhagen Memory clinic were included in the study. The intervention lasted for 14 weeks and consisted of supervised, 1-h sessions of aerobic exercise three times per week (50-60% of heart rate reserve for a two-week adaptation period and 70-80 % of heart rate reserve for the remaining 12 weeks) Feasibility was assessed based on acceptability, including attendance and drop-out, safety, and patients' and caregivers' attitudes towards the intervention as well as other relevant parameters.

RESULTS:

Attendance (mean, range: 90 %, 70-100 %) and retention (seven out of eight) rates were very high. No serious adverse events were observed. In general, patients and caregivers were positive towards the intervention.

CONCLUSION:

This study shows that it is feasible to conduct moderate-to-high intensity aerobic exercise in community-dwelling patients with mild AD. Our findings indicate that aspects such as a longer adaptation period, information about injury prevention, and need for involvement and support from caregivers should be addressed when planning an exercise intervention in an AD population.

KEYWORDS:

aerobic exercise; dementia; feasibility; intervention

PMID:
24733599
DOI:
10.1002/gps.4096
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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