The EXERT Study: Building Memories Through Exercise. A Phase III study examining the effects of exercise on cognitive function, and on biological markers of Alzheimer’s disease in older adults with mild memory loss.
The EXERT Study is funded by the NIH’s National Institute on Aging and is managed by the Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study at the University of California, San Diego. Major EXERT partners include the Y-USA, Wake Forest University, the University of California, Irvine and philanthropic organizations.
What is the EXERT study?
EXERT will test whether aerobic training or stretching/balance/range of motion exercise can improve memory and thinking skills and other measures of brain health in people with mild memory loss or lapses.
What would be expected of me if I enroll in EXERT?
After completing a variety of tests during the screening phase, eligible adults will enroll in EXERT and be randomly assigned to either a stretching/balance/range of motion group or to an aerobic training group.
All participants will exercise at participating local YMCAs, under the supervision of a personal trainer. Participants will complete their assigned exercise program four times per week for 18 months. In the first 12 months of the study, two of the four weekly sessions will be supervised by the trainer. In the final six months, participants will continue to complete their assigned exercise program at the YMCA, but without supervision.
Who is eligible to participate? We are looking for people who:
• Are experiencing mild memory loss or lapses
• Are between the ages of 65 and 89 years old
• Are not currently exercising
• Are willing to be assigned to either exercise group, and to complete the assigned exercise program for the duration of the 18-month study
• Are willing and able to travel to the designated YMCA four times per week for the duration of the study
• Are willing and able to travel to a participating clinic for physical exams, blood collection, cognitive testing, and brain imaging
• Speak English fluently
• Are in overall good general health with no planned surgeries over the next 18 months that could interfere with study participation
• Are not taking insulin to treat type 2 diabetes
• Have a close friend or family member with whom the participant has regular weekly contact, who can serve as a study partner and accompany the participant to many clinic visits
Where will this study take place?
EXERT will be conducted at 14 research centers across the United States. At each site, one or more YMCAs have been selected to be part of the study. States where EXERT will be conducted include New York, Connecticut, North Carolina, Georgia, Texas, Kentucky, Illinois, Wisconsin, Kansas, Nevada, and California.
How many people will take part in this study?
300 older adults
Can I enroll in other clinical trials while I am in EXERT?
No, participation in EXERT and another clinical trial at the same time is not permitted.
Can I continue to take FDA-approved medications?
In most cases, yes. Use of certain drugs will not be allowed, such as medications that can impact memory and thinking abilities.
How is my privacy affected by participating in this study?
Your privacy is of prime importance to us. All data that we collect will be anonymous; we will take all possible precautions to keep your identity confidential.
What are the risks of participating in EXERT?
Although regular physical activity is associated with many health benefits, moderate/high intensity aerobic exercise can lead to a greater risk for cardiovascular events, bone and tissue injury. There are also a few minor risks associated with some of the clinic procedures, but the staff will carefully review them with you, as well as the protections we have in place to ensure your safety.
If you are interested in joining this trial, click on the "Sign Up" button below to provide your contact information. One of our staff will be in touch with you within 24 hrs to conduct a short phone screen to determine your eligibility. Otherwise, you can call our center directly at (773) 275-3500 to speak with one of our staff today.