Pilot Study of Aerobic Exercise in Early Alzheimer's Disease(AD)

This study has been completed.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Jeff Burns, MD, University of Kansas Medical Center Research Institute
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier:
First received: May 18, 2010
Last updated: April 19, 2015
Last verified: April 2015
The current project is a natural extension of a programmatic line of investigation into the relationship between exercise, brain aging, and AD that Dr. Burns has developed over the last four years. The current study will provide data to estimate expected effect sizes for power analyses and sample size calculations. It will also provide an opportunity to optimally design a larger trial that can be extended to multiple sites to more definitively examine the role of exercise as a therapy in AD. The current project's aims are an important and necessary developmental step given the lack of fitness data in AD and the limited knowledge of the mechanisms that may form the basis of an association between aerobic fitness and AD.

Condition Intervention
Alzheimer's Disease
Behavioral: Aerobic Exercise
Behavioral: Stretching

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Alzheimer's Disease Exercise Prevention Trial

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by University of Kansas Medical Center:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Measure the effects of aerobic exercise Cognitive Outcomes for AD patients. [ Time Frame: week 0, 13, and 26 ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Measure the effects of aerobic fitness on daily functions and behavior in early AD. [ Time Frame: week 0, 13, and 26 ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

Enrollment: 77
Study Start Date: May 2010
Study Completion Date: April 2015
Primary Completion Date: April 2015 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: Aerobic Exercise Behavioral: Aerobic Exercise
Participants randomized to this group will perform 150 minutes a week of aerobic exercise over 3-5days. Participants will begin exercising 3 times the first week for 20 minutes, increasing to three bouts of 25 minutes the second week. Thereafter, weekly exercise duration will be increased until their target duration of 150 minutes is achieved in week 6. Exercise trainers will assist participants in adjusting exercise routines to achieve their weekly exercise duration goals. Use of equipment, achievement of target HR and safety will be closely monitored by the trainer through the course of the study. Each subject will wear a Polar F4 heart monitor (Polar USA) for recording heart rate during each exercise session. Subjects unable to exercise continuously on the treadmill will perform intermittent training until the target duration is reached. The majority of the exercise sessions will involve walking on a treadmill.
Active Comparator: Stretching Behavioral: Stretching
This groups intervention is designed to match the aerobic exercise intervention with respect to participation and socialization. Stretching and toning has been repeatedly used as control intervention for exercise studies.The schedule and format will be identical to the aerobic conditioning group to best balance confounding variables such as attention, social interactions, and other unknown variables that might influence the results. An experienced and trained exercise instructor will run the stretching sessions three days a week at the local YMCA. We will monitor changes in heart rate with Polar F4 heart monitors (Polar USA) during the sessions to assess, and minimize, potential aerobic benefits from the intervention.


Ages Eligible for Study:   55 Years and older
Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Informed consent provided by the participant or the participant's legally acceptable representative
  • Age 55 years or older
  • Diagnosis of Probable AD according to the National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Disorders and Stroke-Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders Association (NINCDS-ADRDA)
  • Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) of 0.5 (very mild) or 1 (mild dementia)
  • Mini-Mental Status Exam Score of 16 to 30, inclusive.
  • Rosen Modified Hachinski score of 4 or less
  • Community dwelling with a caregiver able and willing to accompany the participant on all visits, if necessary. The caregiver must visit with the subject more than five times a week for the duration of the study.
  • Underactive or sedentary as determined by a Telephone Assessment of Physical Activity.
  • Adequate visual and auditory abilities to perform all aspects of the cognitive and functional assessments
  • Stable doses of medications for at least 30 days prior to screening. Cholinesterase inhibitors and memantine are allowed provided the participant is on stable doses without clinically significant side effects for 60 days. Additionally, the participant and caregiver will agree, barring unforeseen circumstances, to continue the same regimen for the trial duration.
  • Likely to participate in all scheduled evaluations and complete the 26 week program.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • CDR 0.5 uncertain dementia (i.e., not meeting NINCDS-ADRDA criteria).
  • Significant neurological disease, other than AD, that may affect cognition
  • MRI or CT scan indicative of significant abnormalities that may explain cognitive decline (e.g., multiple lacunar infarcts or a single prior infarct > 1 cm3, micro-hemorrhages or evidence of a prior hemorrhage > 1 cm3, evidence of cerebral contusion, encephalomalacia, aneurysm, vascular malformation, or space-occupying lesion such as an arachnoid cyst or brain tumor)
  • Current clinically significant major psychiatric disorder (e.g., Major Depressive Disorder) according to DSM-IV criteria or significant psychiatric symptoms (e.g., hallucinations) that could impair the completion of the study. Individuals with depressive symptoms (Geriatric Depression Scale < 6) and who do not meet criteria for major depression will be eligible.
  • Current clinically-significant systemic illness that is likely to result in deterioration of the patient's condition or affect the patient's safety during the study
  • History of clinically-evident stroke
  • Clinically-significant infection within the last 30 days
  • Myocardial infarction or symptoms of coronary artery disease (e.g., angina) in the last two-years.
  • Uncontrolled hypertension within the last 6 months
  • History of cancer within the last 5 years (except non-metastatic basal or squamous cell carcinoma)
  • History of drug or alcohol abuse as defined by DSM-IV criteria within the last 2 years
  • Presence of contraindications for MRI scanning (pacemaker, aneurysm clips, artificial heart valves, metal fragments, foreign objects) or claustrophobia
  • Insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus
  • Significant pain or musculoskeletal disorder that would prohibit participation in an exercise program
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Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01128361

United States, Kansas
University of Kansas Medical Center
Kansas City, Kansas, United States, 66160
Sponsors and Collaborators
Jeff Burns, MD
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Burns, MD University of Kansas Medical Center
  More Information

Responsible Party: Jeff Burns, MD, Assistant Professor, Director of the Alzheimer & Memory Center & AD Clinical Research Program, University of Kansas Medical Center Research Institute
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01128361     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 11969 
Study First Received: May 18, 2010
Last Updated: April 19, 2015
Health Authority: United States: Institutional Review Board

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Alzheimer Disease
Brain Diseases
Central Nervous System Diseases
Mental Disorders
Nervous System Diseases
Neurocognitive Disorders
Neurodegenerative Diseases

ClinicalTrials.gov processed this record on May 30, 2016