The effect of physical exercise on cerebral blood flow in Alzheimer's disease

Neuroimage Clin. 2018 Sep 4;20:650-654. doi: 10.1016/j.nicl.2018.09.003. eCollection 2018.


In recent years there has been an increasing focus on the relation between cerebrovascular health, physical exercise and Alzheimer's disease. The aim of the current study was to determine the effect of moderate-to-high-intensity aerobic exercise on cerebral blood flow in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease. Fifty-one patients were randomized to either usual care or moderate-to-high intensity aerobic exercise for 16 weeks. Exercise had no consistent effect on whole brain or regional cerebral blood flow. Sixteen weeks of exercise are, therefore, not sufficient to produce a consistent increase in cerebral blood flow in a relatively small sample of Alzheimer's patients.

Keywords: ACC, anterior cingulate cortex; AD, Alzheimer's disease; Alzheimer's Disease; Arterial Spin labeling; CBF, cerebral blood flow; Cerebral Blood Flow; MCI, mild cognitive impairment; MMSE, Mini Mental State Examination; MRI; PCC, posterior cingulate gyrus; Physical Exercise; Randomized Controlled Trial; SPG, superior parietal gyrus.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnosis
  • Alzheimer Disease / physiopathology*
  • Alzheimer Disease / therapy*
  • Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation / physiology*
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Single-Blind Method