BACKGROUND: There is a lack of research on the effects of physical activity (PA) on the progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD). OBJECTIVES: We investigated whether PA is associated with progression of dementia and mortality in AD. METHODS: In the present study, 934 patients with mild-to-moderate AD were included. PA was evaluated using a questionnaire written by the caregiver. The outcome measures were the Clinical Dementia Rating-Sum of Boxes (CDR-SB), Seoul-Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (S-IADL), Caregiver-Administered Neuropsychiatric Inventory (CGA-NPI), a global composite score of neuropsychological subtests, and mortality. They were evaluated annually and received a maximum of three follow-up examinations. RESULTS: Between-group differences compared with the no PA group in the change of CDR-SB scores were -0.431 (95% CI = -0.824∼-0.039; p = 0.031) for the moderate PA group (150-750 minutes per week of moderate intensity PA), and -1.148 (-1.656∼-0.639; p < 0.001) for the high PA group (>750 minutes per week). As PA increased, there was a significant trend to slow the rate of increase in the CDR-SB, S-IADL, and CGA-NPI scores. The patients with ≥150 minutes per week for each of non-recreational and recreational PAs had a lower risk of mortality compared to those with <150 minutes per week for each of the PAs (hazard ratio 0.22, 95% CI = 0.05∼0.88; p = 0.033). CONCLUSION: More PA is associated with slower progression of dementia severity, functional decline, and abnormal behavior, and with a lower risk of mortality in AD.
- Alzheimer’s disease
- physical activity