Walking stabilizes cognitive functioning in Alzheimer's disease across one year.
Alzheimer's Disease (AD) is a worldwide epidemic and has devastating consequences for not only the patient, but family and caregivers also. A lot of thought and research capacity is spent on treating this disease. This study examined the impact of walking on cognitive functioning over a year.
104 patients with early to mid-stage AD were recruited and were administered the Mini-Mental State Examination, Geriatric Depression Scale, and the Blessed-Roth Dementia Rating Scale. Their caregivers completed the Yale Physical Activity Scale, Profile of Mood States, the Neuropsychiatric Inventory, and the Functional Abilities Questionairre.
The results after 1 year showed that those with a low initial activity level gradually decreased activity level over time, which was paired with a decrease in cognition and affect/mood. The subject sample was divided into active and sedentary groups based on their Yale profile. Those more sedentary showed significant decrease in cognition while active subjects did not show a significant decline. Furthermore, those with a higher level of activity (walking over 2h/week) actually showed a significant increase in cognition scores.
This study adds to the growing body of knowledge showing the benefits of exercise in chronic conditions. Further research with more structured activities and controls will help improve our knowledge on the effects of exercise and cognition among people with Alzheimer's Disease. > From: Winchester et al. Arch Gerontol Geriatr 56 (2013) 96-103. All rights reserved to Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
The link to the Pubmed summary of the article can be found here.