Positive effects of resistance training in frail elderly patients with dementia after long-term physical restraint

Age (Dordr). 2014 Apr;36(2):801-11. doi: 10.1007/s11357-013-9599-7. Epub 2013 Nov 16.


This study investigated the effects of a multicomponent exercise intervention on muscle strength, incidence of falls and functional outcomes in frail elderly patients with dementia after long-term physical restraint, followed by 24 weeks of training cessation. Eighteen frail elderly patients with mild dementia (88.1 ± 5.1 years) performed a multicomponent exercise program, which consisted of 4 weeks of walking, balance and cognitive exercises, followed by 4 weeks of resistance exercise performed twice weekly [8-12 repetitions at 20-50 % of the one-repetition maximum (1RM)], combined with walking, balance and cognitive exercises. Before and after training, as well as after 24 weeks of training cessation, strength outcomes, Barthel Index, balance, gait ability, rise from a chair ability, dual task performance, incidence of falls and Mini-Mental State Examination were assessed. After the first 4 weeks of training, there was a significant improvement only in the balance test, whereas no additional changes were observed. However, after the second part of the training, the participants required significantly less time for the time-up-and-go test (P < 0.05), and improved the isometric hand grip, hip flexion and knee extension strength, as well as the leg press 1RM (P < 0.01). A significant reduction was also observed in the incidence of falls (P < 0.01). After 24 weeks of training cessation, abrupt decreases were observed in nearly all of the physical outcomes (P < 0.05). The exercise intervention improved strength, balance and gait ability in frail elderly patients with dementia after long-term physical restraint, and these benefits were lost after training cessation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls / prevention & control
  • Accidental Falls / statistics & numerical data
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Dementia / physiopathology
  • Dementia / psychology
  • Dementia / rehabilitation*
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Frail Elderly*
  • Gait
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle Strength / physiology*
  • Postural Balance
  • Resistance Training / methods*
  • Restraint, Physical
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Walking / physiology*