Battling Alzheimer's with Exercise - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/14/03

Battling Alzheimer's with Exercise

We all know the benefits of exercise but could it also help those who suffer from Alzheimer's disease? The illness is known to rob brain function but could a healthy body help override some of that damage?

Here's what researchers found out at the University of Washington. "The benefit to the patient is very clear. They're less physically frail, they're more active, they're less likely to spend time in bed, they're happier, they're less depressed. So both physically and emotionally, they're better off," said Linda Teri, Ph.D of the University of Washington, in Seattle.

The program is called Reducing Disability in Alzheimer Disease, or R-DAD in which trainers taught Alzheimer patients and their caregivers a simple in-home exercise regime that included walking about a half-hour a day, stretching, and strength training. Caregivers also learned techniques to better manage patients' behavior.

It was a two year program but the researchers found the benefits continued even beyond the two years. The study is in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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