When it comes to behavior, depression, and mortality in people with dementia, does physical activity make a difference?

Researchers from the University of Western Ontario in London, Canada searched the medical literature for answers.

Here’s what they found.

  • 4 studies met the authors’ inclusion criteria.
  • But only 2 were included in the reanalysis of the results (meta-analysis).
  • There was insufficient evidence of the effectiveness of physical activity programs in managing or improving cognition (reasoning), function, behavior, depression, and mortality in people with dementia.
  • Family caregiver outcomes and use of healthcare services were not reported in the studies.

The bottom line?
The authors concluded, “There is insufficient evidence to be able to say whether or not physical activity programs are beneficial for people with dementia.”

In an earlier report, Dr. Laura Podewils from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia found that physical activity has no effect on the rate of lesion progression in elderly people with Alzheimer’s disease or mild cognitive impairment.”

7/23/08 23:12 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.