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Running head: EFFECTS OF EXERCISE PROGRAM ON ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE PATIENTS Lutz 1
Effects of Exercise Program on Alzheimer’s Disease Patients
Katelyn J. Lutz
Alvernia University
Abstract
EFFECTS OF EXERCISE PROGRAM ON ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE PATIENTS Lutz 2
A community-based exercise program is developed to help improve functional ability in
Alzheimer’s disease patients. The trial of the program is randomized and controlled. Forty people
including, sixteen men and twenty-four women participated in the study and had a mean age of
74.1 years. The forty patients were divided into two groups: the treatment (exercise and
treatment) group or the control (usual treatment) group. In the treatment group, all levels of
functional ability increased such as: mobility, Mini Mental State Examination scores, physical
function, and lower body strength. This study proves that people living with Alzheimer’s disease
can benefit from participating in a community-based exercise program because of the increased
level of multiple functions. Improving functional ability can help not only dementia patients, but
also the whole health care system.
Effects of Exercise Program on Alzheimer’s Disease Patients
EFFECTS OF EXERCISE PROGRAM ON ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE PATIENTS Lutz 3
Studies have been conduction on patients living with Alzheimer’s disease who participate
in a community-based exercise program that tests their functional ability in a randomized,
controlled trial. Levels of physical function, mobility, cognitive function, ADL (Activities of
Daily Living), depression, carer burden are all subject to change after the exercise program is
finished. A four month trial of forty participants with Alzheimer’s and their caregiver were
divided into two groups which allowed researchers to test which group increased levels and
which group had not. The treatment group received usual treatment and exercised while the
control group just got the usual treatment. The participants included sixteen men and twenty-four
women who altogether had a mean age of 74.1, between the ages of 51 and 89. (Vreugdenhil,
2010, p. 12). The treatment (exercise) group participated at home in a 4-month program, whereas
the control (usual treatment) group just received their treatment. Walking and daily activities
were involved with the treatment group with help of their carer. The program includes ten
exercises with 3 different levels of each that focus on upper and lower body strength, balance and
at least a half hour of walking every day. Participants had a baseline test then the 4-month test to
see the results of the program. After the 4-month follow-up, patients involved with exercise had
improved cognitive function, Mini Mental State Examinations scores went up, increased physical
function and balance, improved mobility, and increased body strength. Use of MINITAB
Statistical Software, to test between the groups, was used at baseline testing then again in the
follow-up. (Vreugdenhil, 2010, p. 15). Exercise hasn’t been found to be a treatment for people
living with Alzheimer’s disease, but it is found to be highly beneficial and is a great opportunity
for patients to help themselves with their dementia. In conclusion, the testing shows that the
exercise was effective in all levels of functions and ability. Dementia in people is increasing and
EFFECTS OF EXERCISE PROGRAM ON ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE PATIENTS Lutz 4
with not many treatments available, it’s ethical to participate in the exercise program which pays
so close attention to the benefits and impacting patients to help improve their everyday life.
After reading this article of Alzheimer’s disease and exercise correlation, I wanted to see
how Laurie Lundy-Ekman describes the disease in-depth to get a full understanding of how it
affects people living with it. In the book, Neuroscience Fundamentals for Rehabilitation, Ekman
defines Alzheimer’s as the most common form of dementia which most often occurs later in
one’s life. In Ekman’s words, “Dementia is generalized mental deterioration, characterized by
disorientation and impaired memory, judgment, and intellect.” (Lundy-Ekman, 2013, p.443).
Alzheimer’s is progressive and causes memory loss and confusion where symptoms can be
noticeable in the in people around sixty years and older then typically lead to death about 8 years
later. The first signs of noticing Alzheimer’s disease is one often forgetting things, not being able
to finish sentences or make sense when they talk. Patients with the disease have trouble
interpreting and understanding moving objects because they suffer from motion blindness, in
which they can’t perceive if an item or person is moving towards or away from them. (Lundy-
Ekman, 2013, p. 443). The trouble with motion blindness is that patients have a tendency to
become lost or wander around due to not being able to guide them because their visual
information is not being processed properly. Emotions can change rapidly and be altered really
frequently in people with Alzheimer’s even though they may not be truly feeling a certain way
that causes the strange emotion outbursts. Eventually, failure to do every day independent
activities sets in and patients cannot perform tasks like feeding or dressing themselves. The
reason that cognition is lost is because of endothelial cells that do not function and cause barriers
called, “blood-brain barrier malfunction,” and leads to injured neurons and toxins that cause
inflammation and swelling. Signs of Alzheimer’s never ceases, it starts an opening for other
EFFECTS OF EXERCISE PROGRAM ON ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE PATIENTS Lutz 5
severe problems including atrophy. (Lundy-Ekman, 2013, p. 444). According to the Alzheimer’s
Association, this disease has seven stages that define it’s severity with aging. Stage one is no
impairment, stage two is very mild cognitive decline (may be normal age-related changes or
earliest signs of Alzheimer's disease), stage three is mild cognitive decline (early-stage
Alzheimer's can be diagnosed in some, but not all, individuals with symptoms), stage four is
moderate cognitive decline, stage five is moderately severe cognitive decline, stage six is severe
cognitive decline, stage seven is very severe cognitive decline (severe or late-stage Alzheimer's
disease). (Alzheimer’s Association, 2014).
Choosing this article on Alzheimer’s disease really informed me and helped me clearly
understand how it affects one’s body and what exactly it does to someone who is affected by the
disease. After reading the article, it allowed me to make connections to what Lundy- Ekman
describes Alzheimer’s as in her book, Neuroscience Fundamentals for Rehabilitation. This article
explains how Alzheimer’s patients go through everyday life with the inability to do most tasks by
themselves and are highly affected with the loss of visual information and direction of motion to
interpret moving objects. People living with the disease typically have a carer that takes care of
them which is explained in the article. This is because people suffering from the disease
gradually lose ability of certain behaviors and personalities along with cognitive skills that go
hand in hand with decision making and language skills. (NINDS, 2014). In the book, Ekman so
more in-depth to explain why and says how patients do not have the ability to feed themselves,
cook, or get dressed/groomed. This explains why patients have someone that cares for them
because they are physically unable to do most things on their own. In the article, the exercise
program is only ten exercises and walking every day for four months which allows the patients to
form a habit. There are some leading factors can make exercise terribly difficult for some
EFFECTS OF EXERCISE PROGRAM ON ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE PATIENTS Lutz 6
patients because of chronic atrophy of the cerebral cortex, amygdala, and hippocampus that
inhibits that act of exercising due to muscle loss and body parts wasting away. Although,
patients that practice exercise is extremely beneficial because it can prevent or help gain back
muscle that was lost as the disease progresses in the later ages. I’m glad I had this opportunity to
research this article because Alzheimer’s is a common disease in today’s society, affecting many
older people all over the world. I learned there is no cure for this disease, nor many treatments
available, but raising awareness by writing articles like the one I read by Aretha Vreugdenhil can
help people, like me, understand how this disease affects people and how they go about their
everyday life. I truly believe and agree with Vreugdenhil that exercise can positively affect
patients with Alzheimer’s.
References
EFFECTS OF EXERCISE PROGRAM ON ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE PATIENTS Lutz 7
Alzheimer’s Association.7 stages of alzheimer's & symptoms. (2014, January 1). Retrieved from
http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_stages_of_alzheimers.asp?
gclid=CMXJ1eGZzcECFZeFaQodw3YANA
Lundy-Ekman, L. (2013). Neuroscience: Fundamentals for rehabilitation. St. Louis, MO:
Elsevier/Saunders.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Alzheimer's disease information page.
(2014, May 22). Retrieved from
http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/alzheimersdisease/alzheimersdisease.htm
Vreugdenhil, A., Cannell J., Davies, A., & Razay, G. (2011). A community-based exercise
program to improve functional ability in people with Alzheimer’s disease: A randomized
controlled trial. Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences, 26, 12-19.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1471-6712.2011.00895.x
EFFECTS OF EXERCISE PROGRAM ON ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE PATIENTS Lutz 8

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EFFECTS OF EXERCISE PROGRAM ON ALZHEIMER PATIENTS paper

  • 1. Running head: EFFECTS OF EXERCISE PROGRAM ON ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE PATIENTS Lutz 1 Effects of Exercise Program on Alzheimer’s Disease Patients Katelyn J. Lutz Alvernia University Abstract
  • 2. EFFECTS OF EXERCISE PROGRAM ON ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE PATIENTS Lutz 2 A community-based exercise program is developed to help improve functional ability in Alzheimer’s disease patients. The trial of the program is randomized and controlled. Forty people including, sixteen men and twenty-four women participated in the study and had a mean age of 74.1 years. The forty patients were divided into two groups: the treatment (exercise and treatment) group or the control (usual treatment) group. In the treatment group, all levels of functional ability increased such as: mobility, Mini Mental State Examination scores, physical function, and lower body strength. This study proves that people living with Alzheimer’s disease can benefit from participating in a community-based exercise program because of the increased level of multiple functions. Improving functional ability can help not only dementia patients, but also the whole health care system. Effects of Exercise Program on Alzheimer’s Disease Patients
  • 3. EFFECTS OF EXERCISE PROGRAM ON ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE PATIENTS Lutz 3 Studies have been conduction on patients living with Alzheimer’s disease who participate in a community-based exercise program that tests their functional ability in a randomized, controlled trial. Levels of physical function, mobility, cognitive function, ADL (Activities of Daily Living), depression, carer burden are all subject to change after the exercise program is finished. A four month trial of forty participants with Alzheimer’s and their caregiver were divided into two groups which allowed researchers to test which group increased levels and which group had not. The treatment group received usual treatment and exercised while the control group just got the usual treatment. The participants included sixteen men and twenty-four women who altogether had a mean age of 74.1, between the ages of 51 and 89. (Vreugdenhil, 2010, p. 12). The treatment (exercise) group participated at home in a 4-month program, whereas the control (usual treatment) group just received their treatment. Walking and daily activities were involved with the treatment group with help of their carer. The program includes ten exercises with 3 different levels of each that focus on upper and lower body strength, balance and at least a half hour of walking every day. Participants had a baseline test then the 4-month test to see the results of the program. After the 4-month follow-up, patients involved with exercise had improved cognitive function, Mini Mental State Examinations scores went up, increased physical function and balance, improved mobility, and increased body strength. Use of MINITAB Statistical Software, to test between the groups, was used at baseline testing then again in the follow-up. (Vreugdenhil, 2010, p. 15). Exercise hasn’t been found to be a treatment for people living with Alzheimer’s disease, but it is found to be highly beneficial and is a great opportunity for patients to help themselves with their dementia. In conclusion, the testing shows that the exercise was effective in all levels of functions and ability. Dementia in people is increasing and
  • 4. EFFECTS OF EXERCISE PROGRAM ON ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE PATIENTS Lutz 4 with not many treatments available, it’s ethical to participate in the exercise program which pays so close attention to the benefits and impacting patients to help improve their everyday life. After reading this article of Alzheimer’s disease and exercise correlation, I wanted to see how Laurie Lundy-Ekman describes the disease in-depth to get a full understanding of how it affects people living with it. In the book, Neuroscience Fundamentals for Rehabilitation, Ekman defines Alzheimer’s as the most common form of dementia which most often occurs later in one’s life. In Ekman’s words, “Dementia is generalized mental deterioration, characterized by disorientation and impaired memory, judgment, and intellect.” (Lundy-Ekman, 2013, p.443). Alzheimer’s is progressive and causes memory loss and confusion where symptoms can be noticeable in the in people around sixty years and older then typically lead to death about 8 years later. The first signs of noticing Alzheimer’s disease is one often forgetting things, not being able to finish sentences or make sense when they talk. Patients with the disease have trouble interpreting and understanding moving objects because they suffer from motion blindness, in which they can’t perceive if an item or person is moving towards or away from them. (Lundy- Ekman, 2013, p. 443). The trouble with motion blindness is that patients have a tendency to become lost or wander around due to not being able to guide them because their visual information is not being processed properly. Emotions can change rapidly and be altered really frequently in people with Alzheimer’s even though they may not be truly feeling a certain way that causes the strange emotion outbursts. Eventually, failure to do every day independent activities sets in and patients cannot perform tasks like feeding or dressing themselves. The reason that cognition is lost is because of endothelial cells that do not function and cause barriers called, “blood-brain barrier malfunction,” and leads to injured neurons and toxins that cause inflammation and swelling. Signs of Alzheimer’s never ceases, it starts an opening for other
  • 5. EFFECTS OF EXERCISE PROGRAM ON ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE PATIENTS Lutz 5 severe problems including atrophy. (Lundy-Ekman, 2013, p. 444). According to the Alzheimer’s Association, this disease has seven stages that define it’s severity with aging. Stage one is no impairment, stage two is very mild cognitive decline (may be normal age-related changes or earliest signs of Alzheimer's disease), stage three is mild cognitive decline (early-stage Alzheimer's can be diagnosed in some, but not all, individuals with symptoms), stage four is moderate cognitive decline, stage five is moderately severe cognitive decline, stage six is severe cognitive decline, stage seven is very severe cognitive decline (severe or late-stage Alzheimer's disease). (Alzheimer’s Association, 2014). Choosing this article on Alzheimer’s disease really informed me and helped me clearly understand how it affects one’s body and what exactly it does to someone who is affected by the disease. After reading the article, it allowed me to make connections to what Lundy- Ekman describes Alzheimer’s as in her book, Neuroscience Fundamentals for Rehabilitation. This article explains how Alzheimer’s patients go through everyday life with the inability to do most tasks by themselves and are highly affected with the loss of visual information and direction of motion to interpret moving objects. People living with the disease typically have a carer that takes care of them which is explained in the article. This is because people suffering from the disease gradually lose ability of certain behaviors and personalities along with cognitive skills that go hand in hand with decision making and language skills. (NINDS, 2014). In the book, Ekman so more in-depth to explain why and says how patients do not have the ability to feed themselves, cook, or get dressed/groomed. This explains why patients have someone that cares for them because they are physically unable to do most things on their own. In the article, the exercise program is only ten exercises and walking every day for four months which allows the patients to form a habit. There are some leading factors can make exercise terribly difficult for some
  • 6. EFFECTS OF EXERCISE PROGRAM ON ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE PATIENTS Lutz 6 patients because of chronic atrophy of the cerebral cortex, amygdala, and hippocampus that inhibits that act of exercising due to muscle loss and body parts wasting away. Although, patients that practice exercise is extremely beneficial because it can prevent or help gain back muscle that was lost as the disease progresses in the later ages. I’m glad I had this opportunity to research this article because Alzheimer’s is a common disease in today’s society, affecting many older people all over the world. I learned there is no cure for this disease, nor many treatments available, but raising awareness by writing articles like the one I read by Aretha Vreugdenhil can help people, like me, understand how this disease affects people and how they go about their everyday life. I truly believe and agree with Vreugdenhil that exercise can positively affect patients with Alzheimer’s. References
  • 7. EFFECTS OF EXERCISE PROGRAM ON ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE PATIENTS Lutz 7 Alzheimer’s Association.7 stages of alzheimer's & symptoms. (2014, January 1). Retrieved from http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_stages_of_alzheimers.asp? gclid=CMXJ1eGZzcECFZeFaQodw3YANA Lundy-Ekman, L. (2013). Neuroscience: Fundamentals for rehabilitation. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier/Saunders. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Alzheimer's disease information page. (2014, May 22). Retrieved from http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/alzheimersdisease/alzheimersdisease.htm Vreugdenhil, A., Cannell J., Davies, A., & Razay, G. (2011). A community-based exercise program to improve functional ability in people with Alzheimer’s disease: A randomized controlled trial. Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences, 26, 12-19. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1471-6712.2011.00895.x
  • 8. EFFECTS OF EXERCISE PROGRAM ON ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE PATIENTS Lutz 8