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Wii-Fit For Improving Activity, Gait And Balance In Alzheimer's Dementia

The recruitment status of this study is unknown. The completion date has passed and the status has not been verified in more than two years.
Verified June 2010 by University of Nebraska.
Recruitment status was:  Recruiting
Information provided by:
University of Nebraska Identifier:
First received: October 23, 2009
Last updated: June 1, 2010
Last verified: June 2010

Alzheimer's Dementia (AD) contributes to poor balance, impaired gait and functional status, thereby, increasing the risk of falls. AD is an independent risk factor for hip fractures. Those with balance problems and gait impairments are at higher risk for long term placement and death related to falls. Gait impairments in those with dementia include shortened step length, increased double support time, step to step variability, and decreased gait speed. These gait impairments worsen with dual tasking probably due to common brain areas involved in gait and other cognitive tasks.

Exercise interventions improve gait and balance in the elderly. In subjects with existing AD, physical activity has shown to prevent further cognitive decline and improve quality of life and prevent falls. However, it is difficult to engage patients with AD in long term exercise programs. The expense of physical therapy limits its easy accessibility. Use of everyday technology might bridge this gap by providing high level of engagement via the use of multimedia while providing a cost effective alternative. Wii Fit is one such multimedia platform.

Wii fit is a Nintendo gaming console used for aerobics, strength training and balance activities. This device includes a balance board that senses weight and shifts in movement and balance. Virtual trainers talk the user through the activity while tracking the user's progress.

Although some skilled nursing facilities have started using Wii game system adjunct to routine physical therapy, there have not been any studies. Anecdotal reports note improvement in balance and social benefits using the Wii Fit program. Physical therapists report the ability to customize Wii for each patient. Wii Fit can be successfully used in a cognitively impaired population. A unique feature of this approach is the enjoyment and enthusiasm that many patients derive which is reflected in high levels of engagement.

The invesitgators propose an 8 week prospective randomized study with the treatment group receiving the exercise program delivered by Wii-Fit system and the comparison arm receiving a walking exercise program in a community dwelling setting. Subjects in each arm will participate for 30 minutes daily five days a week.

Condition Intervention
Alzheimer's Dementia
Gait Impairment
Balance Impairment
Other: Wii-Fit intervention
Other: Walking exercise program

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Wii-Fit For Improving Activity, Gait And Balance In Alzheimer's Dementia

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by University of Nebraska:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Berg Balance Test [ Time Frame: 8 weeks and 16 weeks ]
  • Biomechanical assessment of balance, gait and dual tasking [ Time Frame: 8 weeks and 16 weeks ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Activities of daily living (ADL) [ Time Frame: 8 weeks and 16 weeks ]
  • Instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) [ Time Frame: 8 weeks and 16 weeks ]
  • Quality Of Life-AD (QOL-AD) [ Time Frame: 8 weeks and 16 weeks ]
  • Mini mental state exam (MMSE) [ Time Frame: 8 weeks and 16 weeks ]
  • Falls Efficacy Scale (FES) [ Time Frame: 8 weeks and 16 weeks ]
  • Activities-specific Balance Confidence Scale (ABC) [ Time Frame: 8 weeks and 16 weeks ]
  • Exit-25 [ Time Frame: 8 weeks and 16 weeks ]

Estimated Enrollment: 30
Study Start Date: November 2009
Estimated Study Completion Date: October 2011
Estimated Primary Completion Date: October 2011 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: Wii-Fit arm
Half hour daily, five days a week, for 8 weeks
Other: Wii-Fit intervention
Half hour daily, five days a week, for 8 weeks
Other Name: Exercise intervention
Active Comparator: Walking arm
Half hour daily, five days a week, for 8 weeks
Other: Walking exercise program
walking exercise program


Ages Eligible for Study:   60 Years and older   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Subjects age ≥ 60
  • Diagnosis of mild Dementia of Alzheimer's type (MMSE ≥ 18)
  • Community dwelling elders, living at home
  • History of fall at least once during the year before the study (without serious injury) or a fear of a future fall
  • Presence of caregiver(s)
  • Presence of television at home

Exclusion Criteria:

  • History of myocardial infarction or TIA or stroke in last 6 months
  • Presence of serious psychiatric problems that have impact on memory
  • Active cancer or new cancer diagnosis in the last year other than skin cancer
  • Medical conditions likely to compromise survival, or ability to participate in the exercise program such as severe congestive heart failure, significant musculoskeletal impairments, recent fracture, joint replacements, or severe chronic pain
  • Severe visual or auditory impairment or peripheral neuropathy
  • Subjects using wheel chair or assistive device for mobility
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01002586

Contact: Kalpana P Padala, MD, MS 402-559-8069

United States, Nebraska
University of Nebrasaka Medical Center Recruiting
Omaha, Nebraska, United States, 68198
Contact: Kalpana P Padala, MD, MS    402-559-8069   
Principal Investigator: Kalpana P Padala, MD, MS         
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Nebraska
Principal Investigator: Kalpana P Padala, MD, MS University of Nebraska
  More Information

Responsible Party: Kalpana P. Padala, MD, MS, University of Nebrasaka Medical Center Identifier: NCT01002586     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 361-09-EP
Study First Received: October 23, 2009
Last Updated: June 1, 2010

Keywords provided by University of Nebraska:
Alzheimer's dementia

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Alzheimer Disease
Brain Diseases
Central Nervous System Diseases
Nervous System Diseases
Neurocognitive Disorders
Mental Disorders
Neurodegenerative Diseases processed this record on April 28, 2017