"Nursing home residents with Alzheimer's disease who participate in a moderate exercise program have a significantly slower deterioration than those who receive routine medical care, researchers have shown."
Exercise slows decline in Alzheimer's patients
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Nursing home residents with Alzheimer's disease who participate in a moderate exercise program have a significantly slower deterioration than those who receive routine medical care, researchers have shown.
Dr. Yves Rolland, of Hospital La Grave-Casselardit in Toulouse, France, and colleagues examined the effects of a program of exercise for one hour twice weekly on activities of daily living, physical performance, nutritional status, behavioral disturbance and depression among 134 Alzheimer's disease patients in nursing homes.
The patients were 83 years old on average. They were assigned to the exercise program, which focused on walking, strength, balance and flexibility training, or to routine medical care for 12 months.
As reported in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 110 participants completed the study. Among the 56 subjects in the exercise group who completed the study, the rate of adherence to the program was about 33 percent on average.
At the end of the 12 months, the average activities-of-daily-living score was significantly more improved in the exercise group than in the routine medical care group, Rolland's team reports.
In addition, average walking speed improved significantly more in the exercise group than in the routine medical care group at 6 months and 12 months.
However, the exercise program had no apparent effect on behavioral disturbance, depression or nutritional assessment scores.
ORIGINAL SOURCE: Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, February 2007.
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