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Exercise for Brain Health


This study is recruiting older adults who are cognitively healthy but physically inactive to participate in an intervention comparing aerobic exercise and flexibility exercise and their effects on memory and brain function.

Minimum Age Maximum Age Gender Healthy Volunteers
60 Years 80 Years All Yes
October 8, 2018
April 2023

  • Fluent in English
  • Physically active 2 or fewer days per week for the past 6 months
  • Physician consent to undergo an exercise stress test and engage in moderate-intensity exercise
  • Ability to undergo magnetic resonance imaging

  • Neurological conditions such as cerebral palsy, epilepsy, brain tumor, chronic meningitis, multiple sclerosis, pernicious anemia, normal-pressure hydrocephalus, HIV infection, Parkinson's disease, and Huntington's disease
  • Untreated high blood pressure, glaucoma, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Untreated severe major depression
  • Substance abuse or dependence
  • Use of psychoactive medications, except selective serotonin/norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor antidepressants
  • Use of acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, including Alzheimer's medications donepezil, rivastigmine, and galantamine
  • Unstable or severe heart disease or asthmatic condition
  • History of transient ischemic attack, cerebral ischemia, or stroke
  • Diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment or dementia, or objective evidence of cognitive impairment

Participants will engage in either moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, including treadmill walking, or flexibility exercise for 4 days per week for 6 months. Group-based exercise classes will take place in local retirement communities near College Park, MD, or at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Name City State Zip Status Primary Contact
University of Maryland, Department of Kinesiology
College Park Maryland 20742 Recruiting Study Coordinator

University of Maryland

  • National Institute on Aging (NIA)
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Marquette University

Name Role Affiliation
J. Carson Smith, PhD Principal Investigator University of Maryland

Name Phone Email
Study Coordinator 301-405-2574


Exercise for Brain Health in the Fight Against Alzheimer's Disease