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Keywords:

  • rehabilitation;
  • cognition;
  • postural control;
  • dual task;
  • Alzheimer's

Objective

To verify the effects of a systematized multimodal exercise intervention program on frontal cognitive function, postural control, and functional capacity components of individuals with Alzheimer's disease (AD).

Design

Nonrandomized controlled trial with pre- and posttraining tests in a training group and a control group.

Setting

Kinesiotherapy program for seniors with AD, São Paulo State University.

Participants

Convenience sample of older adults with AD (n = 30) were assigned to a training (n = 14; aged 78.6 ± 7.1) and a control (n = 16; aged 77.0 ± 6.3) group.

Intervention

The intervention program was structured with the aim of simultaneously promoting better balance and frontal cognitive capacity. The participants attended a 1-hour session three times a week for 16 weeks, whereas the control group did not participate in any activity during the same period.

Measurements

Frontal cognitive function was evaluated using the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, the Clock Drawing Test, the Frontal Assessment Battery, and the Symbol Search Subtest. Postural control (center of pressure area) was analyzed under four dual-task conditions. Functional capacity components were analyzed using the Timed Up and Go Test, the 30-second sit-to-stand test, the sit-and-reach test, and the Berg Functional Balance Scale.

Results

Intervention group participants showed a significant increase in frontal cognitive function (< .001, partial η2 = 0.838), with less body sway (P = .04, partial η2 = 0.04) during the dual tasks, and greater functional capacity (P = .001, partial η2 = 0.676) after the 16-week period.

Conclusion

Intervention participants performed better on dual-task activities and had better postural balance and greater functional capacity than controls.