This study aimed to investigate the effect of 6-month physical exercise with a multicomponent cognitive program (MCP) on the cognitive function of older adults with moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease (AD).
We included 33 participants with AD in a 6-month randomized controlled trial. The intervention group participated in physical exercise and received a MCP. The control group received only the MCP. Before and after the intervention, cognitive outcomes were assessed using the Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive Subscale (ADAS-cog), Mini-Mental State Examination, and the Clock Drawing Test. Physical performance was evaluated by exercise time, the number of pedal rotation, total load, grip strength, and the Berg Balance Scale (BBS).
In all cognitive measures, there were no significant improvements between the two groups after 6 months in the baseline value-adjusted primary analysis. However, the ADAS-cog score was significantly lower between the two groups in secondary analysis adjusted for baseline value, age, sex, and education years. All physical outcomes were significantly higher in the intervention group except for total load compared with baseline measurements.
This study indicates that it is possible to improve cognitive function in older adults with moderate to severe AD through 6-month physical exercise with a multicomponent cognitive intervention.