Physical activity and mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease

Academic Unit for Psychiatry of Old Age, St. Vincent's Health, Department of Psychiatry, St. George's Hospital, The University of Melbourne, 283 Cotham Road, Kew, 3103, Victoria, Australia.
Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports (Impact Factor: 3.67). 09/2010; 10(5):352-8. DOI: 10.1007/s11910-010-0121-7
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Regular physical activity undoubtedly has many health benefits for all age groups. In the past decade, researchers and clinicians have begun to focus their attention on whether physical activity also can improve health outcomes of older adults who experience mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia. This ongoing question is gaining relevance in light of the aging of the world population and with it the rise of age-related conditions, such as cognitive impairment. Not surprisingly, physical activity is among the potential protective lifestyle factors mentioned when strategies to delay or prevent dementia are discussed. The first large-scale multidomain intervention trials are under way to put this to the test. This review aims to give an overview of recent trials of physical activity in patients with MCI or dementia.

  • Source
    • "Because of the absence of disease-modifying treatments, numerous studies have sought to identify potentially modifiable risk factors for AD (Barnes and Yaffe, 2011). In particular, physical inactivity has been recognized as a significant risk factor for cognitive decline (Sofi et al., 2011) and cognitive impairments, including AD and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) (Barnes and Yaffe, 2011; Lautenschlager et al., 2010), MCI is considered to be a clinical feature that typifies the prodromal phase of AD and most types of dementia (Petersen, 2004). MCI is associated with a relatively high rate of conversion to dementia, but may also revert to a healthy cognitive state (Brodaty et al., 2013). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Physical activity may help to prevent or delay brain atrophy. Numerous studies have shown associations between physical activity and age-related changes in the brain. However, most of these studies involved self-reported physical activity, not objectively measured physical activity. Therefore, the aim of this study was to examine the association between objectively measured physical activity, as determined using accelerometers, and brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measures in older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). We analyzed 323 older subjects with MCI (mean age 71.4years) who were recruited from the participants of the Obu Study of Health Promotion for the Elderly. We recorded demographic data and measured physical activity using a tri-axial accelerometer. Physical activity was classified as light-intensity physical activity (LPA) or moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Brain atrophy and the severity of white matter lesions (WML) were determined by MRI. Low levels of LPA and MVPA were associated with severe WML. Subjects with severe WML were older, had lower mobility, and had greater brain atrophy than subjects with mild WML (all P<0.05). Multivariate analysis revealed that more MVPA was associated with less brain atrophy, even after adjustment for WML (β=-0.126, P=0.015), but LPA was not (β=-0.102, P=0.136). Our study revealed that objectively measured physical activity, especially MVPA, was associated with brain atrophy in MCI subjects, even after adjusting for WML. These findings support the hypothesis that physical activity plays a crucial role in maintaining brain health. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Experimental Gerontology 12/2014; 62C:1-6. DOI:10.1016/j.exger.2014.12.011 · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "A recent meta-analysis (Sofi et al., 2011) showed that physical activity was protective against cognitive decline and Barnes and Yaffe (2011) suggest that public health campaigns targeting physical activity at a societal level could have a profound effect on future AD prevalence. Likewise, a recent review concluded that there is support for a positive association between physical activity and reduced risk of cognitive impairment , although this has not yet translated consistently into clinical trials (Lautenschlager et al., 2010). One such clinical trial with positive findings is FABS (Fitness for the Ageing Brain Study), which found that a 6-month physical activity program was of benefit for cognitive performance in people with subjective memory impairment or MCI over an 18-month follow-up period compared to a control group. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: IntroductionThere is increasing evidence to support the benefits of physical activity on cognition in older adults. This paper describes (i) the attitudes, beliefs and barriers towards physical activity of older adults with and without cognitive impairment and (ii) their opinion of the attributes of the ideal physical activity program.Methods Thematic analysis of focus groups and individual interviews with 50 older adults with no cognitive impairment, subjective memory complaints, mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease was performed.ResultsConsistent with previous research in cognitively intact older adults, most participants, irrespective of cognitive status, had a positive attitude towards physical activity and believed it was beneficial both generally and for cognition. There was a preference for physical activity programs to be suggested by advertising and general practitioners (GPs), undertaken in a group setting, and beliefs that they should be tailored to individual's needs and preferences, and should be affordable according to their income. Participants with cognitive impairment cited specific barriers including “memory” and “lack of companion” as well as preferring “accessible” settings and “simple/light/safe” activities.DiscussionThese findings provide useful data, particularly from participants with cognitive impairment, with whom there has been little research to date. This could contribute to efforts to translate the growing research evidence of the benefits of physical activity for brain health into effective community programs.
    Asia-Pacific Psychiatry 06/2014; 6(2). DOI:10.1111/appy.12015 · 0.42 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "In healthy older people a high level of physical activity coincides with a high level of cognitive performance, such as speed of information processing, attention [1], and executive functions (EF) [2]. The results of those studies are in line with the finding that a high level of physical activity during life might decline the risk of dementia [3]. Since physical activity also increases physical performance, such as muscle strength, gait speed, functional mobility, and balance [4], it is not surprising that there is a positive relationship between physical performance and cognition in healthy older people [5]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background. Physical performances and cognition are positively related in cognitively healthy people. The aim of this study was to examine whether physical performances are related to specific cognitive functioning in older people with mild to severe cognitive impairment. Methods. This cross-sectional study included 134 people with a mild to severe cognitive impairment (mean age 82 years). Multiple linear regression was performed, after controlling for covariates and the level of global cognition, with the performances on mobility, strength, aerobic fitness, and balance as predictors and working memory and episodic memory as dependent variables. Results. The full models explain 49-57% of the variance in working memory and 40-43% of episodic memory. Strength, aerobic fitness, and balance are significantly associated with working memory, explaining 3-7% of its variance, irrespective of the severity of the cognitive impairment. Physical performance is not related to episodic memory in older people with mild to severe cognitive impairment. Conclusions. Physical performance is associated with working memory in older people with cognitive impairment. Future studies should investigate whether physical exercise for increased physical performance can improve cognitive functioning. This trial is registered with NTR1482.
    03/2014; 2014:762986. DOI:10.1155/2014/762986
Show more