Impact of 6-month aerobic exercise on Alzheimer's symptoms

Fang Yu, William Thomas, Nathaniel W. Nelson, Ulf G Bronas, Maurice W Dysken, Jean F Wyman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Little is known about how aerobic exercise affects Alzheimer's disease (AD). The purpose of this pilot study was to test the impact of 6-month cycling on AD symptoms in community-dwelling older adults with mild-to-moderate AD, using a single-group, repeated-measures design (n = 26). AD symptoms were measured with the AD Assessment Scale-Cognitive (ADAS-Cog), Disability in AD (DAD), and Neuropsychiatric Inventory-Caregiver (NPI-Q) scales at baseline, 3 and 6 months. Data were analyzed using mixed linear models. The ADAS-Cog, DAD, and NPI-Q severity scores remained unchanged over the 6-month period, while caregiver distress decreased 40% (p <.05). We conclude that aerobic exercise may reduce AD symptoms and appears effective in decreasing caregiver distress. Further randomized controlled trials are needed to examine the effects of aerobic exercise in AD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)484-500
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Applied Gerontology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 4 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was jointly supported by a National Institute of Health K12 Career Advancement Award (RR023247-04) and the American Health Assistance Foundation (A2009344) awarded to the first author. Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health Award Number UL1TR000114 .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2013 The Author(s).


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • aging
  • cognition
  • dementia
  • exercise


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