Presented DGN 2013 The effect of home-based physical activity training on patients with dementia and their caregivers. Vjera A. Holthoff, Kira Marschner, Maria Scharf, Shirin Meyer, Annette Werner, Rainer Koch, Markus Donix Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Division of Old Age Psychiatry and Cognitive Neuropsychiatry, Faculty of Medicine Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden, 01307 Dresden, Germany DZNE, German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Dresden, Germany Department of Neuroradiology, Faculty of Medicine Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden, 01307 Dresden, Germany Abstract Background: The pilot study presented here is a randomized controlled trial (RCT) in patients with mild to moderate AD still living at home and cared for by a family caregiver. Patients in the intervention group completed a 12-week home-based physical activity training with a movement trainer (Reck MOTOmed®) and were compared to patients treated as usual (TAU). Methods: Thirty patients (aged 72.4±4.3 years; 53% female) with mild to moderate AD (MMSE score: 20.6±6.5 points), who met the NINCDS-ADRDA criteria and family caregivers were randomly allocated to the TAU group or the 12-week home-based physical intervention program. All participants underwent clinical testing at baseline, 12 and 24 weeks later. Next to activities of daily living, cognitive and behavioural symptoms of dementia, motor skills, physical fitness of the patients was measured and the quality of life in patients and carers as well as caregiver burden. Patients in the intervention group trained 3 times a week for 30 minutes on a movement trainer (Reck MOTOmed®) controlled by a standardized software activation program. Patients were considered to have successfully completed the intervention if they trained for at least 75% of the time required by the protocol which was recorded by the movement trainer. Patients in the control group received treatment-asusual (TAU) with the same monthly clinical visits and counselling by the treating physician. The analyses based on linear models with autoregressive covariance structure for correlated measures and multiple comparisons of means were Tukey adjusted. Results: Analyses in the patients revealed significant effects in several domains, including activities of daily living, behavior, executive function/language ability, motor skills and quality of life. Analyses in the caregivers revealed significant effects in caregiver burden. Conclusions: The data suggest that intensive home-based physical activity training is of clinical benefit to patients with AD and to family caregivers.
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