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Physical Activity and Alzheimer's Disease (PAAD-2)


This study will test a 1-year exercise program in middle-aged adults who have normal cognition and a family history of Alzheimer's disease. Researchers are investigating how exercise effects cognitive performance and whether those effects are influenced by APoE4, a genetic variant that increases risk for Alzheimer's disease.

Minimum Age Maximum Age Gender Healthy Volunteers
40 Years 65 Years All Yes
March 2019
March 2023

  • Family history of Alzheimer's disease and/or cognitive impairment
  • Able to communicate in English
  • Not currently meeting recommendations for physical activity (3 days per week for 30 or more minutes per day) for longer than 3 months

  • Cognitively impaired
  • Unable to exercise due to known heart, metabolic, or kidney disease or to orthopedic limitations
  • Neurologic, psychiatric, medical, or any other condition that might limit exercise or pose a danger to the participant
  • Use of Alzheimer's medications or medications that adversely affect cognition or impact heart rate
  • Depression, as measured using the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale
  • Traveling for longer than a month during the course of the study

Half of participants in this study will engage in exercise three times a week for 1 hour at a local YMCA. Exercises will include both strength training and aerobic activities, such as walking. The other half of participants will maintain their normal lifestyle for 1 year. They will receive a health newsletter and be contacted regularly to talk about their health and physical activity. After study completion, they will receive a short-term YMCA membership. All participants will undergo magnetic resonance imaging, a blood test, and assessments to measure cognitive performance.

Name City State Zip Status Primary Contact
University of North Carolina-Greensboro
Greensboro North Carolina 27402 Recruiting Shonda Mobley, MPH

University of North Carolina, Greensboro

  • Wake Forest University Health Sciences
  • National Institute on Aging (NIA)

Name Role Affiliation
Jennifer Etnier, PhD Principal Investigator UNC Greensboro

Name Phone Email
Shonda Mobley 336-334-4765
Jennifer Etnier, PhD 336-334-3037


The Effect of Physical Activity on Cognition Relative to APOE Genotype (PAAD-2)