Aug 21, 2009

Exercise for Cognition and Everyday Living for Seniors With Memory Complaints (EXCEL)

I am writing about the clinical trial-- Exercise for Cognition and Everyday Living for Seniors With Memory Complaints (EXCEL) -- even though it is only available in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

The study caught my attention because they are testing an exercise program that is almost identical to what I decided to do with my mother when she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's.
The researchers' proposed research aims to ascertain whether a six-month, twice-weekly aerobic training (AT) program and a six-month, twice-weekly resistance training (RT) program, compared with a six-month, twice-weekly stretch & relax (S & R; control) program, will significantly improve cognition and functional status in community-dwelling women with MCI aged 70 years and older.
In my mother's case we use the combination of aerobic exercise and resistance training (which turned into weight training). You might be surprised to learn that my mother hates the aerobic training, and loves the weight training. Go figure.

If you have been here a while then you know it is my very firm belief that exercise in a gym slowed the progression of Alzheimer's in my mother. So, I am excited to see some of my own theories tested (more or less).

Here are the two hypotheses being tested:
Primary Hypothesis:
At the end of six-month randomized trial, compared with the S & R program, both the AT and RT programs will significantly improve cognitive performance, as assessed by neuropsychological testing.

Secondary Hypotheses:
At the end of the six-month randomized trial, compared with the S & R program, participants of the AT and RT programs will:

Demonstrate evidence of cortical plasticity by fMRI, such as increased activation in cortical regions responsible for item and relational memory; and
Will significantly improve their everyday problem solving ability.
The use of fMRI is also very exciting.

To read all about EXCEL: Exercise for Cognition and Everyday Living for Seniors With Memory Complaints go here.
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Bob DeMarco is an Alzheimer's caregiver and editor of the Alzheimer's Reading Room. The Alzheimer's Reading Room is the number one website on the Internet for advice and insight into Alzheimer's disease. Bob taught at the University of Georgia, was an executive at Bear Stearns, the CEO of IP Group, and is a mentor. He has written more than 700 articles with more than 18,000 links on the Internet. Bob resides in Delray Beach, FL.