The combination of cognitive and exercise training can improve the symptoms of brain function, mobility and depression in people with dementia. This is the conclusion of international research at the Residential Care Center De Wingerd and the University Psychiatric Center KU Leuven. This is the first time such a survey has been conducted.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, with gradual decline in brain function. As a result, people with dementia eventually lose the ability to plan and remember things. Their athletic performance declines, indicating behavioral problems. After all, you will not be able to live your daily life alone, and you will need to be very careful. There are an estimated 194,100 dementia patients in Belgium. 52,100 new cases are diagnosed each year. Currently, there is no cure for this disease.
Clinical studies by KU Leuven and ETH Zurich scientists suggest for the first time that the combination of dementia and exercise training can improve cognitive and physical skills in people who are severely restricted by dementia.
To measure this, researchers used so-called “exercise games.” This is a video game with movement. They recruited 45 residents of the home care center De Wingerd and Z.org KU Leuven, who averaged 85 years old. All participants showed symptoms of severe dementia.
Researchers used the so-called exercise game Dividat Senso. The training improved the cognitive abilities of participants with dementia.
The exercise game consists of a floor screen and panels with four compartments. This device measures a player’s steps, weight transfer and balance. The dots on the screen indicate the space the player must step on. In this way, they can train their physical and cognitive skills at the same time. The game gets harder when the player reacts quickly and correctly.
Participants were randomly divided into two groups. Participants in the first group trained three times a week for 15 minutes for eight weeks. The physiotherapist designed a personalized program for each participant and adapted it to the physical and cognitive abilities and health of the participant. Participants in the control group watched the selected music video. The researchers then used the same measurements at the beginning of the study to compare participants’ motor, cognitive, and mental skills.
Results published in Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy show that training improved participants’ cognitive skills such as attention, concentration, memory, and direction. They also had significantly less symptoms of depression. Finally, playful training also had a positive effect on physical skills such as participant reaction time. “This is encouraging because the speed at which older people respond to impulses is important to prevent falls,” said Natalie Swinen of KU Ruben’s Adaptive Physical Activity and Psychomotor Rehabilitation Research Group.
Notably, the second control group worsened over the course of 8 weeks. “We certainly expected that participants who were not trained in dementia would be more likely to get worse,” adds Swynen. “Previous studies have already shown that exercise can delay the symptoms of dementia,” said KU Ruben’s Professor Davie VanCamp Fort. .. “This study suggests for the first time that active video games can not only delay the symptoms of dementia, but also relieve them.”
KU Leuven: Active Video Games Can Help People with Dementia – Education in India | Global Education | Education News
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