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Improvement of cognitive function after physical movement training in institutionalized very frail older adults with dementia

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  • Franka Thurm
  • Andrea Scharpf
  • Nadine Liebermann
  • Stephan Kolassa
  • Thomas Elbert
  • Dietmar Luchtenberg
  • Alexander Woll
  • Iris- Tatjana Kolassa
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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>31/12/2011
<mark>Journal</mark>GeroPsych: The Journal of Gerontopsychology and Geriatric Psychiatry
Issue number4
Volume24
Number of pages12
Pages (from-to)197-208
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date20/12/11
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Physical exercise has positive effects on cognitive functioning in both healthy older adults and ambulatory older adults with dementia. The present study investigated whether a 10-week multimodal movement intervention conducted in the seated position can slow cognitive deterioration in demented and physically very frail nursing-home residents. Our analysis revealed that training participants showed no further overall cognitive deterioration throughout the study and a significant improvement in the ADAS-Cog orientation/praxis subscore (p = .04). In contrast, the control group demonstrated a significant decline in the ADAS-Cog sum score (p = .02). These results might be of relevance for geriatric practice since they indicate that a short-term physical intervention – even in the seated position – can decelerate cognitive decline and dementia despite physical frailty.