A study investigating the effects of exercise program for older adults with AD (the FINALEX trial) was published recently in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

People who have AD/dementia have twice the risk for falls compared to people without dementia. About 60% of older adults with dementia fall each year.

The existence of neuropsychiatric symptoms might predict whether an older person with AD/dementia is more likely to have a fall, researchers suggest, in a media release from the American Geriatrics Society.

Although exercise can reduce the number of falls in older adults with dementia, not much about how neuropsychiatric symptoms may increase the risk of falls is known. Even less is known about how exercise may reduce the risk of falls for people with dementia and neuropsychiatric symptoms.

A research team decided to explore whether exercise could reduce the risk of falling among community-dwelling people with AD who also had neuropsychiatric symptoms.

The original FINALEX study examined and compared older adults who had home- or group-based exercise training with people who didn’t exercise but who received regular care. The researchers learned that the people who exercised had a lower risk for falls than those who didn’t exercise. There was also a higher risk for falls among those who had lower scores on psychological tests and who didn’t exercise.

This study revealed that people with AD/dementia and neuropsychiatric symptoms such as depression and anxiety have a higher risk for falls. Exercise can reduce the risk of falling for older adults with these symptoms. Further studies are needed to confirm these results, the release explains.

[Source(s): American Geriatrics Society, Science Daily]