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The Mental Activity and eXercise Trial for Seniors (MAX)

Posted May 15 2009 11:31pm
Those of you that have been here for a while know that I write often about the importance of exercise and the positive effect it has on my mother --she suffers from Alzheimer's disease.

This clinical trial caught my attention.
The primary objective of this study is to conduct a randomized, controlled trial to determine whether engaging in mental activity or exercise, either alone or in combination, improves cognitive function in non-demented, inactive older adults who self-report a recent decline in memory or thinking.
In addition, we, the researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, plan to seek funding to follow subjects over time to determine whether these interventions are associated with changes in rate of cognitive decline or risk of dementia after the intervention period has ended.
This study indirectly addresses an issue that is on the mind of many on this list, and the growing number of people related to someone suffering from Alzheimer's -- what can I do to ward off dementia or Alzheimer's.

The test are designed to see if exercise and mental activity improve memory in older people.

Right now, the only testing location is in San Francisco, Ca (University of California, San Francisco).

The researchers are seeking additional funds to lengthen the research period and expand the study. Detailed Description:

SPECIFIC AIMS AND HYPOTHESES

  • Aim 1: To determine whether a 12-week, computer-based mental activity program improves cognitive function in non-demented, inactive elders.

We hypothesize that this mental activity program will improve cognitive function—especially visuospatial function—in non-demented, inactive elders.

  • Aim 2: To determine whether a 12-week exercise program improves cognitive function in non-demented, inactive elders.

We hypothesize that this exercise program will improve cognitive function—especially executive function—in non-demented, inactive elders.

  • Aim 3: To determine whether the effects of mental activity and exercise are additive or are more or less than the sum of their parts.

We hypothesize that the effects of these mental activity and exercise interventions will be additive.

  • Aim 4: To determine whether mental activity and/or exercise may slow cognitive decline or lower risk of dementia in non-demented, inactive elders.

We hypothesize that both mental activity and exercise will slow cognitive decline and lower risk of dementia, and that the effects will be greatest when mental activity and exercise are combined.


You must be 65 years or older to apply for inclusion in the clinical trial.

More information and contact information. The Mental Activity and eXercise Trial for Seniors

Principal Investigator: Deborah E Barnes, PhD, MPH
University of California, San Francisco and San Francisco VA Medical Center
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Bob DeMarco is an Alzheimer's caregiver and editor of the Alzheimer's Reading Room. The Alzheimer's Reading Room is the number one website on the Internet for insight into Alzheimer's disease. Bob taught at the University of Georgia, was an executive at Bear Stearns, the CEO of IP Group, and is a mentor. He has written more than 600 articles with more than 11,000 links on the Internet. Bob resides in Delray Beach, FL.


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