The role of exercise in reducing or slowing Alzheimer’s disease keeps coming up on headlines. Observational studies like the one in this article suggest that brain health may be different for older adults who exercise versus those who do not.
While the results of studies like this one are intriguing, disease modifying effects need to be demonstrated in a larger and more diverse populations using accessible, cost-effective and sustainable programs that have the potential for implementation in a community setting.
To address this need, UCI MIND and the Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study (ADCS) have partnered with the YMCA of the USA (Y-USA) to conduct a randomized controlled 18-month trial to test whether moderate-high intensity aerobic exercise can positively impact cognitive function and biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease in sedentary older adults (65-89 yrs old) with mild memory impairments. Participants complete their exercises at YMCAs under the supervision of a study-certified trainer in the first 12 months, and independently in the final 6 months.