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Can Exercise Improve Cognitive Symptoms Of Alzheimer’s Disease

Implications Of The Effectiveness Of Physical Exercise On The Neuropsychiatric Symptoms Of Alzheimer’s Disease

Brain & Memory Exercises for Alzheimer’s, Cognitive Impairment, Dementia

On the other hand, it is extremely important to emphasize that besides these benefits, practicing physical exercise favors reduction of NPS such that health is boosted in an overall manner, through development of muscle endurance, cardiovascular capacity, joint mobility, motor coordination and balance. Thus, metabolic diseases, among others, can be prevented. Such benefits can only be achieved through practicing physical exercise.

These physical exercises not only benefit the elderly individual with AD, but also aid their family members or caregivers. This further increases the scope and social importance of contributing to improvement of NPS that arise from AD. However, further studies in which NPS are their main outcome are needed, along with research to investigate the effects of different types of protocols on NPS in AD, such as experimental studies comparing the effects of physical exercise in isolation and use of a dual task protocol. Furthermore, some research to as certain how long the adherence to physical exercise needs to be, for improvements in NPS in AD to be seen, would be important. Lastly, there need to be more studies to investigate the pathological pathways through which NPS come to be present the relationships between cognitive symptoms and NPS and the neurobiological processes of physical exercise that become effective in NPS.

Exercise As Treament For Alzheimers Disease

Although several studies have shown that exercise has a potential benefit in declined cognition, are there any evidences to prove that exercise is good for people with AD? Some of the previous studies have limitations associated with randomization and surveillance in the group with treatment. There are also relatively few large-scale studies focusing on Alzheimers patients.

Strengths Limitations And Future Directions

The primary strength of our meta-analysis lies in its multiple-subgroup design, which provides better quantification of the associations between specified amounts of physical activity or exercise and relative effects on AD. Another strength is that only RCT studies were included. The included studies were conducted in both developed countries like Germany and Denmark and developing countries like China and Brazil, therefore these findings also apply to both kinds of countries. Last, we focused on a single type of dementia , whereas past meta-analyses have typically included trials of subjects with multiple types of dementia or subjects with a diagnosis only of cognitive impairment.

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How Exercise Might Clean The Alzheimers Brain

Hints at potential treatments for age-related dementia and memory loss

For the 50 million individuals worldwide ailing from Alzheimers disease, the announcements by pharmaceutical giants earlier this year that they will end research on therapeutics were devastating. The news is even more devastating considering projections that 100 million more people will be diagnosed with Alzheimers disease across the globe by 2050, all potentially without a medical means to better their quality of life.

As it happens, though, the pursuit of a therapeutic has been given a lifeline. New research shows that physical exercise can clean up the hostile environments in the brains of Alzheimers mice, allowing new nerve cells in the hippocampus, the brain structure involved in memory and learning, to enable cognitive improvements, such as learning and memory. These findings imply that pharmacological agents that enrich the hippocampal environment to boost cell growth and survival might be effective to recuperate brain health and function in human Alzheimers disease patients.

Data Extraction And Quality Assessment

Can we cure Alzheimerâs Disease with Aerobic Exercise?

Two investigators independently reviewed the title and abstract of search results and screened the full text of references that might be eligible. When differences occurred in eligibility of inclusion, exclusion, or data extraction, a third reviewer participated in the discussion. Physical activity interventions of all sample sizes were included. Author, publication year, country, age, sample size, intervention characteristics, duration, measurement instrument, results, and dropouts were included for all eligible studies. Two researchers assessed the risk of bias independently using the Cochrane handbook .

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Aerobic Exercise May Improve Cognitive Symptoms Of Alzheimers Disease

Exercise training may delay the decline in cognitive function that occurs in individuals who are at risk of or have Alzheimers disease, with aerobic exercise possibly having the most favorable effect, according to a review of 19 previous studies on the topic.

Aerobic exercise may mildly delay, improve Alzheimers symptoms. Image credit: Christian Northe.

Approximately 5.3 million Americans are living with Alzheimers disease. Alzheimers-related medical costs in the United States are estimated to exceed $1.1 trillion by 2050 unless effective methods to prevent and treat Alzheimers disease are identified.

Exercise training is recommended as a cost-effective lifestyle therapeutic option to improve brain health in older adults, with improvements in cognitive function mediated by positive neurophysiological changes.

Consequently, the World Health Organization recommends that older adults perform at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise training , 75 minutes per week of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise training, or a combination of the two supplemented by muscle strengthening activities on 2 or more days per week.

However, not all studies of exercise and older adults have proven the benefits of exercise. We dont know for sure whether exercise slows mental decline or improves older adults ability to think and make decisions.

The findings are published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.


Alzheimers: Aerobic Exercise May Reduce Cognitive Decline

  • Alzheimers disease affects over 5.5 million people in the United States.
  • There is mixed evidence about the value of aerobic exercise in reducing cognitive decline for people with Alzheimers.
  • The present pilot study suggests exercise may reduce cognitive decline, which warrants further research to confirm the initial findings.

Researchers have found that aerobic exercise may reduce cognitive decline in people with Alzheimers disease.

The research, published as a pilot study in the Journal of Alzheimers Disease, supports aerobic exercise as an intervention for people with this condition and lays the ground for future, larger studies to corroborate the initial findings.

National Institute on Aging , Alzheimers disease is an irreversible and progressive neurological disorder.

At its mildest, it can affect a persons ability to think or remember things. Moderate forms of the condition can affect a persons brain areas and impair language, reasoning, sensory processing, and conscious thought.

When the disease progresses to become severe, it can stop a person from performing basic, everyday tasks and recognizing or communicating with friends or family.

According to the NIA , researchers estimate Alzheimers disease affects over 5.5 million people in the United States. It typically first appears in people in their mid-60s.

However, as the authors of the present study note, randomized controlled trials that have put this to the test have produced inconsistent findings.

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Effects Of Physical Activity And Exercise

Recently, results from randomized controlled trails have suggested that people should adopt physical activity and exercise to alleviate the negative impact of aging on their cognitive function. A randomized trail conducted by Lautenschlage NT in 2008 showed physical activity and exercise may slow down cognitive decline, which is in agreement with Kramer AF . Heyn P et al reported physical activity and exercise had positive effects on cognition among those with cognitive decline in a meta-analysis.

Evidence from all kinds of trails suggests that physical activity and exercise can to some extent improve cognition performance among patients with cognitive impairment, yet it is still unclear which combinations of frequency, intensity, time, and type of exercise can exert a better effect on improving cognition of older adults diagnosed with AD.

To find the optimal intervention way, it is urgent to answer how to conduct physical activity and exercise RCTs to improve cognition in terms of the amount of physical activity and exercise. This meta-analysis was conducted to study the dose-response effects of physical activity on cognition of patients with AD as a need-to-be settled question. The findings should provide bases for establishing guidelines and recommendations for future physical activity and exercise interventions for older adults with AD.

Study Shows Aerobic Exercise Helps Cognitive Function In Older Adults

The Other Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease

The enhanced physical activity group underwent 26 weeks of supervised treadmill training. Blood samples for both groups were taken at baseline and after 26 weeks.

Increasing evidence shows that physical activity and exercise training may delay or prevent the onset of Alzheimers disease . In aging humans, aerobic exercise training increases gray and white matter volume, enhances blood flow, and improves memory function. The ability to measure the effects of exercise on systemic biomarkers associated with risk for AD and relating them to key metabolomic alterations may further prevention, monitoring, and treatment efforts. However, systemic biomarkers that can measure exercise effects on brain function and that link to relevant metabolic responses are lacking.

Researchers performed a metabolomics analysis in blood samples of 23 asymptomatic late middle-aged adults, with familial and genetic risk for AD who participated in the aeRobic Exercise And Cognitive Health Pilot Study at the University of Wisconsin. The participants were divided into two groups: usual physical activity and enhanced physical activity . The EPA group underwent 26 weeks of supervised treadmill training. Blood samples for both groups were taken at baseline and after 26 weeks.


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Stage 1: Identify The Research Question

This review is guided by the following research question: What is known about the effects of aerobic exercise on various health outcomes in individuals diagnosed with EOD? Three key concepts were identified from the review question: early-onset dementia, health outcome, and aerobic exercise.

What Kinds Of Brain Exercises Should I Do

That may be vary from person to person. But the main idea seems to be keeping your brain active and challenged. You could start with something as simple as eating with the hand you usually donât use from time to time.

You can also:

  • Learn something new, such as a second language or a musical instrument.
  • Play board games with your kids or grandkids. Or get your friends together for a weekly game of cards. Mix it up by trying new games. The extra bonus of activities like these? Social connections also help your brain.
  • Work on crossword, number, or other kinds of puzzles.
  • Play online memory games or video games.
  • Read, write, or sign up for local adult education classes.

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Analysis Of The Effect Size Of The Studies Selected

The effect size of the studies selected was calculated using Hedges g, in which: g=M1 – M2/standard deviation . Hedges g calculates the weighted effect size according to the relative size in each sample. The effect size analysis results in scores with small , medium and high equivalence. Studies that did not show average and standard deviation data for calculating the effect size were excluded.

Exercise For The Prevention And Treatment Of Cognitive Deficits In Patients With Dementia

Hearing Loss and Dementia

By Michiel R.M. Twiss

Regular aerobic exercise can stop and even reverse brain atrophy. One year of moderate AE has been shown to increase hippocampal volume and improve memory in healthy older adults . Recent meta-analytic evidence has confirmed the effects of AE at augmenting hippocampal volume in the healthy late adulthood brain . Furthermore, grey matter volume in older adults can benefit from physical activity and physical fitness and there may be a positive relationship between PA and white matter volume . It is not yet clear if brain volume augmentation is also mediated through resistance training . RT may have benefits for human brain health, at least according to rodent studies . The previously mentioned review by Feter et al reports on one study, in which AE in combination with RT was able to increase brain volume in obese individuals . However, no evidence was found for RT mediated increases in hippocampal volume in elderly women .

Exerceuticals versus pharmaceuticals for neurocognitive disorders

Exercise medicine for cognition in dementia

Exercise prescription for cognition in dementia

Recommendations for exercise prescription to stabilize and/or enhance cognitive function in patients with dementia can be made. For example, AE as in treadmill training for three months, twice a week for 30 minutes at 60% VO2max improved cognition as measured by the Cambridge Cognitive Examination .

Concluding remarks


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Physical Exercise Improves Cognition In Alzheimers Disease

Cognition within the brain can be blocked by an inflammatory environment causing further damage for those with Alzheimers disease. Based on a mouse model, exercise has shown new nerve cells to not only to survive, but thrive. Image courtesy of the National Institute on Aging/NIH

A study by a Massachusetts General Hospital research team finds that neurogenesis inducing the production of new neurons in the brain structure in which memories are encoded can improve cognitive function in a mouse model of Alzheimers disease. Their investigation shows that cognition can be blocked by the hostile inflammatory environment in the brains of patients with Alzheimers disease and that physical exercise can clean up that environment, allowing new nerve cells to survive and thrive and improving cognition in the Alzheimers mice.

In our study we showed that exercise is one of the best ways to turn on neurogenesis and then, by figuring out the molecular and genetic events involved, we determined how to mimic the beneficial effects of exercise through gene therapy and pharmacological agents, said Rudolph Tanzi, director of the Genetics and Aging Research Unit, vice chair of the Department of Neurology, and co-director of the Henry and Allison McCance Center for Brain Health at MGH. Tanzi is the senior author of the paper published in Science.

What Is Ad: Definition Symptoms And Risk Factors

AD is a chronic neurodegenerative disorder starting and developing insidiously, whose typical primary groups of symptoms are: cognitive dysfunction psychiatric symptoms and behavioral disturbances difficulties with performing activities of daily living. These symptoms progress from mild memory loss to very severe dementia . With the disease deteriorating, patients would lose their bodily functions and life finally. Studies show that the typical life expectancy following diagnosis is three to nine years despite of various speed of progression on different individuals . AD is a devastating disease both expensive in economy and painful in emotion for patients and their families, yet few final conclusion has yet been reached on the precise biological changes that cause AD, why its progressions vary among different patients, and how to prevent, slow or stop it .

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Exercise And Dementia Risk

While we dont have any effective treatment yet for Alzheimers yet, prevention is the most important key at this time, said Tomoto. We are focused on mild cognitive dysfunction. There is some research that suggests that if you do intervention, you could have some hope in reducing Alzheimers. Thats why we focused on this population. If you could exercise, it could improve vascular function and may lead to cognitive improvement.

Benefiting From Brain Aerobics

Improving Sleep to Slow the Progression of Alzheimers Disease

Neurologists report that mental exercise can reduce your chance of developing Alzheimers disease by up to 70%. With numbers like that, its amazing that everyone isnt exercising their brains more often. Get a head start by spending at least 20 minutes, three times a week doing mental exercises.

Dont know what brain aerobics are? Its simple. Whenever you challenge your brain with novel tasks , youre exercising your brain and improving brain function. In order for an activity to be considered brain aerobics, three conditions must be met. The activity needs to:

  • Engage your attention.
  • Involve more than one of your senses.
  • Break a routine activity in an unexpected, nontrivial way.

Some examples of fantastic, brain-building mental exercises include reading, writing, playing board games, and doing crossword puzzles.

JAMA. 2009 Aug 12 302:627-37. doi: 10.1001/jama.2009.1144.Physical activity, diet, and risk of Alzheimer disease.Scarmeas N, Luchsinger JA, Schupf N, Brickman AM, Cosentino S, Tang MX, Stern Y.

BMC Neurol. 2010 Feb 17 10:14. doi: 10.1186/1471-2377-10-14.Promotion of the mind through exercise : a proof-of-concept randomized controlled trial of aerobicexercise training in older adults with vascular cognitive impairment.Liu-Ambrose T, Eng JJ, Boyd LA, Jacova C, Davis JC, Bryan S, Lee P, Brasher P, Hsiung GY.

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Sowhat S The Best Exercise

In summary, there are many different exercises that are appropriate and safe for individuals with Alzheimers disease. It is important to engage in several different categories of exercise, including aerobic, muscle strengthening, balance, and flexibility. In addition, there are national recommendations that can serve as a guide for individuals with Alzheimers disease. Therefore, the answer to the question whats the best exercise for individuals with Alzheimers disease isall exercises that are safe, enjoyable, and sustainable.

Evidence From Epidemiological Studies

Table 1 Physical activity and cognitive function: epidemiological studies

The LIFE-P study, designed as a pilot study to assess the feasibility of an exercise intervention trial, examined the influence of a 12-month exercise intervention on variables such as cognitive and physical function. Fifty healthy participants were allocated to the exercise intervention group, which involved strength, balance, flexibility and aerobic training over a period of 6 months followed by a further 6 months of at-home activities. In addition, 52 individuals were allocated to a control group consisting of weekly healthy living information sessions, for the first 26 weeks, followed by monthly meetings thereafter. No significant differences in cognitive changes were observed between the two groups following the 12-month intervention. It is possible that the intensity of the aerobic intervention was not sufficient to induce significant cognitive differences between the groups. Nevertheless, even with the relatively small numbers in this study, a positive association was observed between improved physical function and better cognitive functioning, regardless of intervention group.

Further intervention studies with separate aerobic and strength training experimental groups, as well as a combined group, are required to evaluate which form or combination of exercise is the most beneficial for cognitive health.

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