Alzheimer’s Disease: Physical Activities as an Effective Intervention Tool - A Mini-Review

Author(s): Blanka Klimova, Petra Maresova, Kamil Kuca*

Journal Name: Current Alzheimer Research

Volume 16 , Issue 2 , 2019

  Journal Home
Translate in Chinese
Become EABM
Become Reviewer
Call for Editor


Background: There are a few risk factors which definitely have an impact on the development of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Those include genetics, gender, age, diabetes, head injuries, and lifestyle. Physical activity together with a healthy diet is part of people’s lifestyle. At present, there exist several research studies showing that the physical activities can be a good intervention tool in the delay of cognitive decline in AD.

Objective: The aim of this study is to discuss a relationship between the physical activities and the delay and/or maintenance of cognitive decline in AD and the types of physical activities which are especially suitable for this delay.

Methods: The method of this review study consists of a method of literature review analysing the data contained in the world’s prestigious scientific databases: PubMed, Springer, Web of Science and Scopus in the period of 2010 - 2015. In addition, a method of comparison of different research studies discussing various aspects and factors of the correlation of physical activities and AD is used.

Results: The findings of this review confirm that in most cases, physical activities have a positive effect on the improvement of cognitive decline in AD.

Conclusion: Although physical activities seem to be beneficial for people with AD, more convincing results, particularly in the area of specific types of exercises and their impact on slowing down the cognitive decline, respectively AD, are needed.

Keywords: Alzheimer's disease, cognitive decline, improvement, sports activities, intervention, review.

Maurer K, Volk S, Gerbaldo H. Auguste D and Alzheimer’s Disease. Lancet 349: 1546-9. (1997).
Müller U, Winter P, Graeber MB. A presenilin 1 mutation in the first case of Alzheimer’s disease. Lancet Neurol 12(2): 129-30. (2013).
Barnes DE, Yaffe K. The projected effect of risk factor reduction on alzheimer’s disease prevalence. Lancet Neurol 10: 819-28. (2011).
Norton S, Matthews FE, Barnes DE, Yaffe K, Brayne C. Potential for primary prevention of Alzheimer’s disease: an analysis of population-based data. Lancet Neurol 13: 788-94. (2014).
Shively MD, Scher AI, Perl DP, Diaz-Arrastia R. Dementia resulting from traumatic brain injury. Arch Neurol 69(10): 1245-51. (2012).
Alzheimer’s Association. Alzheimer’s Association Report. 2015 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures. Alzheimers Dement 11: 332-84. (2015).
Petersen R. Can exercise prevent memory loss and improve cognitive function? Mayo Clinic 2014. [cited 2015 November 15]; Available from:
Arab L, Sabagh MN. Are certain life style habits associated with lower Alzheimer disease risk? Alzheimers Dis 20(3): 785-94. (2010).
Kivipelto M, Solomon A. Alzheimer’s disease - the ways of prevention. J Nutr Health Aging 12: 89S-94S. (2007).
Okonkwo OC, Schulty SA, Oh JM, Larson J, Edwards D, et al. Physical activity attenuates age-related biomarker alternations in preclinical AD. Neurology 83: 1753-60. (2014).
Paillard T, Rolland Y, de Sonto Barreto P. Protective effects of physical exercise in Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease: a narrative review. J Clin Neurol 11(3): 212-9. (2015).
Rovio S, Kareholt I, Helkala EL, Viitanen M, Winblad B, et al. Leisure-time physical activity at midlife and the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Lancet Neurol 4: 705-11. (2005).
Santana-Sosa E, Barriopedro MI, López-Mojares LM, Pérez M, Lucia A. Exercise training is beneficial for Alzheimer’s patients. Int J Sports Med 29: 845-50. (2008).
Larson EB, Wang L, Bowen JD, McCormick WC, Teri L, et al. Exercise is associated with reduced risk for incident dementia among persons 65 years of age and older. Ann Intern Med 144(2): 73-81. (2006).
Lautenschlager NT, Cox KL, Flicker L, Foster JK, van Bockxmeer FM, et al. Effect of physical activity on cognitive function in older adults at risk for Alzheimer disease: a randomized trial. JAMA 300(9): 1027-37. (2008).
Verdelho A, Madureira S, Ferro JM, Baezner H, Blahak C, et al. Physical activity prevents progression for cognitive impairment and vascular dementia. Results from the LADIS (Leukoaraiosis and Disability) Study. Stroke 43: 3331-5. (2012).
Scarmeas N, Luchsinger JA, Schupf N, Brickman AM, Cosentino S, et al. Physical activity, diet, and risk of Alzheimer disease. JAMA 302(6): 627-37. (2009).
Buchman AS, Boyle PA, Yu L, Wilson RS, Bennett DA. Total daily physical activity and the risk of ad and cognitive decline in older adults. Neurology 24: 1323-9. (2012).
Ontario Brain Institute. The role of physical activity in the prevention and management of alzheimer’s disease - implications for Ontario. 2014; [cited 2015 November 15]; Available from:
Hamer M, Chida Y. Physical activity and risk of neurodegenerative disease: a systematic review of prospective evidence. Psychol Med 39(1): 3-11. (2009).
Karceski S. Preventing Alzheimer disease with exercise? Neurology 78: 110-2. (2012).
Braskie MN, Boyle CP, Rajagopalan P, Gutman BA, Toga AW, et al. Physical activity, inflammation, and volume of the aging brain. Neuroscience 273: 199-209. (2014).
Li J, Wang YJ, Zhang M, Xu ZQ, Gao CY, et al. Vascular risk factors promote conversion from mild cognitive impairment to Alzheimer disease. Neurology 76(17): 1485-91. (2011).
Radaka Z, Harta N, Sargaa L, Koltai E, Atalay M, et al. Exercise plays a preventive role against Alzheimer’s disease. J Alzheimers Dis 20: 777-83. (2010).
Radaka Z, Marton O, Nagy E, Koltai E, Goto S. The complex role of physical exercise and reactive oxygen species on brain. J of Sport Health Sci 2: 87-93. (2013).
Arcoverde C, Deslandes A, Moraes H, Almeida C, Araujo NB, Vasques PE, et al. Treadmill training as an augmentation treatment for Alzheimer’s disease: a pilot randomized controlled study. Arq Neuropsiquiatr 72(3): 190-6. (2014).
Baker LD, Frank LL, Foster-Schubert K, Green PS, Wilkinson CW, et al. Effects of aerobic exercise on mild cognitive impairment: a controlled trial. Arch Neurol 67(1): 71-9. (2010).
Hauer K, Schwenk M, Zieschang T, Essig M. becker C, Physical training improves motor performance in people with dementia: a randomized controlled trial. J Am Geriatr Soc 60(1): 8-15. (2012).
Holthoff V, Marschner K, Scharf M. Steding J, Meyer S, Koch R, Donix M. Effects of physical activity training in patients with alzheimer’s dementia: results of a pilot rct study. PLoS One 10(4): e0121478. (2015).
Venturelli M, Scarsini R, Schena F. Six-month walking program changes cognitive and adl performance in patients with Alzheimer. Am J Alzheimers Dis Other Demen 26(5): 381-8. (2011).
Vreugdenhil A, Cannell J, Davies A, Razay G. A community-based exercise programme to improve functional ability in people with alzheimer’s disease: a randomized controlled trial. Scand J Caring Sci 26(1): 12-9. (2012).
Winchester J, Dick MB, Gillen D, Reed B, Miller B. Tinklenberg, Walking stabilizes cognitive functioning in Alzheimer’s disease (ad) across one year. Arch Gerontol Geriatr 56(1): 96-103. (2013).
Yaguez L, Shaw KN, Morris R, Matthews D. The effects on cognitive functions of a movement-based intervention in patients with Alzheimer’s type dementia: a pilot study. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry 26(2): 173-81. (2011).
Teri L, Logsdon RG, McCurry SM. Exercise interventions for dementia and cognitive impairment: the seattle protocols. J Nutr Health Aging 12(6): 391-4. (2008).
de Souto Barreto P, Andrieu S, Payoux P, Demougeot L, Rolland Y, Vellas B. physical activity and amyloid-β brain levels in elderly adults with intact cognition and mild cognitive impairment. J Am Geriatr Soc 63(8): 1634-9. (2015).
Paillard T. Preventive effects of regular physical exercise against cognitive decline and the risk of dementia with age advancement. Sports Med 4: 1-6. (2015).
Barnard ND, Bush AI, Ceccarelli A, Cooper J, de Jager CA, et al. Dietary and lifestyle guidelines for the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. Neurobiol Aging 35: S74-8. (2014).
Durstine JL, Moore GE, Painter PL, Roberts S. ACSM’s exercise management for persons with chronic diseases and disabilities. Third edition. USA, The American College of Sports Medicine; 2009.
Rolland Y, Pillard F, Klapouszczak A, Reynish E, Thomas D, et al. Exercise program for nursing home residents with Alzheimer’s disease: a 1-year randomized, controlled trial. J Am Geriatr Soc 55(2): 158-65. (2007).
Roach KE, Tappen RM, Kirk-Sanchez N, Williams CL, Loewenstein D. A Randomized controlled trial of an activity specific exercise program for individuals with Alzheimer disease in long-term care setting. J Geriatr Phys Ther 34(2): 50-6. (2011).
Suttanon P, Hill KD, Said CM, Williams SB, Byrne KN, LoGiudice D, et al. Feasibility, safety and preliminary evidence of the effectiveness of a home-based exercise programme for older people with Alzheimer’s disease: a pilot randomized controlled trial. Clin Rehabil 27(5): 427-38. (2013).
Ciro CA, Dao HD, Anderson M, Robinson CA, Hamilton TB, et al. Improving Daily Life Skills in People with Dementia: Testing the STOMP Intervention Model. J Alzheimers Dis Parkinsonism 4: 165. (2014).
Klimova B, Kuca K. Multi-nutrient dietary intervention approach to the management of Alzheimer’s disease - a mini-review. Curr Alzheimer Res 13(12): 1312-8. (2016).
Klimova B, Kuca K. Alzheimer’s disease: potential preventive, non-invasive, intervention strategies in lowering the risk of cognitive decline -a review study. J Appl Biomed 13(4): 257-61. (2015).
Maresova P, Klimova B, Kuca K. Alzheimer’s disease: cost cuts call for novel drugs development and national strategy. Ceska a slovenska farmacie 64(1-2): 25-30 (2015).
Leask CF, Harvey JA, Skelton DA, Chastin FM. Exploring the context of sedentary behaviour in older adults (what, where, why, when and with whom). Eur Rev Aging Phys Act 12: 4. (2015).
Klimova B, Maresova P, Valis M, Hort J, Kuca K. Alzheimer’s disease and language impairments: social intervention and medical treatment. Clin Interv Aging 10: 1401-8. (2015).

Rights & PermissionsPrintExport Cite as

Article Details

Year: 2019
Published on: 04 February, 2019
Page: [166 - 171]
Pages: 6
DOI: 10.2174/1567205015666181002132021
Price: $65

Article Metrics

PDF: 51
PRC: 1