Effects of Physical Activity and Exercise on the Cognitive Function of Patients with Alzheimer’s Disease: a Meta-analysis
Growing evidence supports a positive effect of physical activity on cognition in patients with AD, but the mechanism is not well understood.
- 13 trials included, published between 2008-2017, all reporting on MMSE and duration of exercise session.
- 673 total participants (n=342 intervention, n=331 control) enrolled; n=647 completed; 56% female; mean age=74 (range 51-89)
- 1 study utilized moderate-to-high intensity intervention; 12 utilized moderate intensity.
- Intervention groups showed statistically significant improvement in MMSE score [pooled SMD (95% CI)=1.12 (0.66,1.59)] following intervention, compared to control.
- Minutes of intervention per session: Shorter sessions (≤30 min/session) yielded greater improvements in MMSE scores than longer sessions (>30 min/session) [SMD (95% CI)= 1.92 (1.55, 2.30) vs. SMD (95% CI)= 0.34 (0.08, 0.61)].
- Hours of intervention per week: Shorter interventions (≤2 hr/week) tended to yield greater improvements in MMSE scores than longer interventions (>2 hr/week) [SMD (95% CI)= 1.74 (1.32, 2.15) vs. SMD (95% CI)= 0.76 (0.27, 1.24)].
- Additionally, non-significant results indicated that fewer weekly sessions (<3x/week) and longer duration interventions (>16 weeks) tended to yield greater improvements in MMSE scores.