Woman stretching

Have you been told that you have Alzheimer’s disease? Are you 66 years old or older? Consider participating in an exercise research program being conducted by the University of Minnesota!

Purpose of the study

The purpose of the study is to test how a six-month exercise program affects symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and brain function over a year.

Two exercise programs

  • Cycling on a stationary bike
  • Stretching and Range of Motion.

Study procedures

  • An exercise specialist will work with you three times a week in a gym near your home and monitor your response to exercise to ensure your safety
  • You will be screened to make sure exercise is safe for you
  • You will be placed in an exercise program, either cycling or stretching
  • You will be picked up at your home by a staff person
  • You will gradually increase the time and intensity of the exercise at your own pace
  • Your Alzheimer's disease symptoms will be assessed every three months.

Reasons for the study

  • More than 5.2 million Americans have a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Exercise has many well-known health benefits
  • Exercise shows great promise as a potential non-drug treatment for Alzheimer’s disease

Benefits of participation

  • Regular exercise is recommended for older adults and has many health benefits
  • Participants will be supervised for safety during exercise
  • Once enrolled, free transportation will be provided.
  • Remuneration will be provided.
  • Most participants will receive a gym membership
  • Family caregivers may enjoy 6 to 10 hours of respite weekly

Publications and Presentations

  • Yu, F., Bronas, U.G., Konety, S., Nelson, N.W., Dysken, M., Jack Jr., C., Wyman, J.F., & Vock, D (2014). Effects of aerobic exercise on cognition and hippocampal volume in Alzheimer’s disease: Study protocol of a randomized controlled trial (The FIT-AD Trial). The Trials Journal, 15, 394.
  • Yu, F. (August 2014). Aerobic Exercise: A New Promise of an Old Wisdom for Fighting Alzheimer’s Disease. International Symposium on Psychology of Aging – Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience and Psychopathology in Later Life, Beijing, China.
  • Yu, F., Nelson, N.W., Bronas, U.G., Konety, S., Jack, C., Thomas, W., Dysken, M., Savik, K., & Wyman, J.F. (July 2014). Aerobic Exercise in Alzheimer’s Disease, poster at the 2014 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference, Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • Yu, F., Bronas, U.G., Veith, D (July 2014). Prescribing Aerobic Exercise to Older Adults with Alzheimer’s Disease, poster at the 2014 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference, Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • Shah, K., Lin, F.V.^, Yu, F.^, McMahon, J.M. (2017) Activity engagement and physical function in old age sample. Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, 69, 55-60. NIHMS832240; PMC5217742. (^equal contribution)
  • Li, D., Thomas, R., Tsai, M., Li, L., Vock, D., Greimel, S., Yu, F. (2016). Vascular Biomarkers to Predict Response to Exercise in Alzheimer’s Disease: Study Protocol, BMJ Open.
  • Li, D., & Yu, F. (accepted). Peripheral inflammatory biomarkers and cognitive decline in older adults with and without AD: A systematic review. Journal of Gerontological Nursing.
  • Yu, F., Greimel, S., Kelly, K., & Wyman, J.F. (2017). Strategies to Engage Older Adults with Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia in Exercise: A Multiple Case Study. Applied Nursing Research, 36, 77-80.
  • Bronas, U.G., Salisbury, D., Kelly, K., Leon, A., Chow, L.S., & Yu, F. (accepted). Determination of Aerobic Capacity via Cycle Ergometer Exercise Testing in Alzheimer’s Disease. Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias.
  • Salisbury, D., & Yu, F. (accepted). Aerobic Fitness and Cognitive Changes After Exercise Training in Alzheimer’s Disease. Journal of Exercise and Clinical Psychology.
  • Yu, F., Vock, D., & Barclay, T. (accepted) Executive Function: Responses to Aerobic Exercise in Alzheimer’s Disease. Geriatric Nursing.*