Does exercise delay Alzheimer's?

Volunteers are needed for a new study to test the theory following results which found that increasing physical activity significantly improved cognitive function in Australians aged 50 and over with memory complaints.

Now researchers based in Perth, Melbourne and Brisbane are taking the next step to find out if increasing physical activity, such as walking, will improve the quality of life for people living with Alzheimer’s.

Team leader Research Assistant Professor Kay Cox, from UWA’s School of Medicine and Pharmacology, who is based at Royal Perth Hospital, said participants would have an individual program designed for them.

“This study provides a unique opportunity for people with Alzheimer’s and their carers to be part of a key research project,” Research Assistant Professor Cox said.

The physical activity program is a 24-week home-based program of up to 150 minutes of moderate walking per week. Participants will have cognitive and health and fitness tests at the start of the program and at follow-ups each six months for 12 months.

“The study hopes to show that those who participate in the 24-week program of physical activity will experience significantly less memory loss by the end of the program than participants who continue with their usual exercise activity,” Research Assistant Professor Cox said.

Researchers are looking for people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease living at home who have a family member or friend who would also be willing to join the research study.

For more details, email Katherine Hughes or phone 9224 0242 / 9224 0233.

Media references

Research Assistant Professor Kay Cox  (+61 8)  9224 0237  /  (+61 4) 08 922 851
(UWA School of Medicine and Pharmacology)
Janine MacDonald (UWA Public Affairs)  (+61 8)  6488 5563  /  (+61 4) 32 637 716