Effects of Diet, Exercise & Cognitive Stimulation on Progression of Alzheimer’s Disease Jake Summers
University of Missouri
The purpose of this literature review is to assess the connection between diet, exercise and their role on the progression of Alzheimer disease. For this review, five articles will be evaluated that contain the research aimed at discovering how proper diet, light to vigorous physical activity and cognitive stimulation can positively influence the progression of AD. Throughout these articles a variety of surveys, cognitive tests, and physical exercise programs were implemented to grasp the relationship of these lifestyle factors. Some of the results are yet to be distinguished and need further inspecting. Mild leisure activities have yet to prove they affect the progression of Alzheimer’s, though physical exercise and healthy dieting prove to play a vital role.
Keywords: disease, cognitive, exercise, diet, dementia
To begin, this review will examine if distinct lifestyle factors play a positive role in Alzheimer disease (AD), which is considered to be one of the most progressive, degenerating diseases today. Specifically, this review will research the effects that diet, exercise and cognitive training have on the health, intellectual ability and overall mood of the patients as the disease proceeds. This disease effects an estimated 5.1 million Americans, most of which are over the age of 65. The disease primarily affects the patients’ memory, cerebral ability and behavior. With time, the disease drastically worsens until the patients are unable to care for themselves, becoming entirely dependent on a caregiver. Causes of the disease have been dissected in every which way, genetically and environmentally. Investigating the research being conducted will give a better idea of whether certain diet plans and training programs slow down the rate of cognitive decline on individuals with Alzheimer disease.
To begin, the first research article developed by Williams and Tappen (2007) is a pretest-posttest study design with random assignment to treatment group. The purpose of the trials were to determine if exercise will have positive affect on mood in those individuals with Alzheimer’s over a specific period of time. The initial screening included 135 individuals whom lived in a long-term care facility, who had diagnosis of Alzheimer’s and who had dependence in their physical mobility but could still walk and transfer. Of those residents at the initial screening, 90 of them met the criteria and were broken down into three groups. A group that participated in supervised walking, a group that participated in comprehensive exercise which included walking plus strength training, balance and flexibility (Williams & Tappen 2007). The final group consisted of individuals that partook in social conversation. The groups met five days a week progressing up to 30-minute sessions, with a 16-week timetable. The group comprised of 76 females and 14 males with the average age being 88.
The Observed Affect Scale (OAS) measured affect, mood was measured using the Dementia Mood Assessment Scale (DMAS), and mental capability was evaluated using the Mini Mental State Exam (MMSE) as well as the Fluid Object Memory Evaluation (OME). The OAS measures three positive emotions and three negative emotions (Williams & Tappen, 2007). The DMAS is a 24-item scale that evaluates mood and functional abilities. Only items 1-17 were used in the analysis of the individuals. The MMSE tests orientation, attention, registration, calculation, recall and language. The OME is a test that requires the individual to identify 10 household items then recall them 60 seconds later.
After completion of the study, those participants who were in the comprehensive exercise group had more favorable scores on the four tests used to evaluate. Participation in the...
References: Geda Y. E., Roberts R. O., Knopman D. S., Christianson T. J. H., Pankratz, S., Ivnik R. J., & Rocca W. A., (2010). Physical exercise, aging and mild cognitive impairment. Archives of Neurology, 67, 80-86.
Scarmeas, N., Luchsinger J. A., Schupf, N., Brickman A. M., Cosentino, S., Tang, M. X., & Yaakov, S. (2009). Physical activity, diet, and risk of Alzheimer disease. The Journal of the American Medical Association, 307, 627-637.
Spector, A., Thorgrimsen, L., Woods, B., Royan, L., Davies, S., Butterworth, M., & Orrell, M. (2003). Efficacy of an evidence-based cognitive stimulation therapy programme for people with dementia: Randomised controlled trial. British Journal Of Psychiatry, 183, 248-254.
Verghese, J., Lipton R. B., Katz M. J., Hall C. B., Derby C. A., Kuslansky G., & Buschke, H. (2003). Leisure Activities and the risk of dementia in the elderly. The New England Journal of Medicine, 2508-2516.
Williams, L. C., Tappen, M. R., (2007). Effect of exercise on mood in nursing home residents with Alzheimer’s disease. Amercian Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease & Other Dementias, 22, 389-397.
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