The Role of Physical Activity in Adjunctive Nursing Management of Neuro-Degenerative Diseases among Older Adults: A Systematic Review of Interventional Studies

Author: Majed Awad Alanazi1
1 Department of Medical Surgical Nursing, College of Nursing, Jouf University, Sakaka 72388, Saudi Arabia.
Conference/Journal: Life (Basel)
Date published: 2024 May 7
Other: Volume ID: 14 , Issue ID: 5 , Pages: 597 , Special Notes: doi: 10.3390/life14050597. , Word Count: 233

Neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia and Parkinson's disease pose significant challenges to older adults globally. While pharmacological treatments remain primary, increasing evidence supports the role of non-pharmacological strategies like physical activity in managing these conditions. This systematic review critically evaluates the effectiveness of Nursing based physical activity interventions in improving cognitive function, physical functioning, mobility, and overall quality of life among older adults with neurodegenerative diseases. We conducted a comprehensive search across PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, CENTRAL, and other relevant databases, focusing on randomized controlled trials and observational studies that examined the impact of structured physical activity. Our findings from nineteen studies involving 1673 participants indicate that interventions ranging from aerobic exercises, resistance training, to mind-body exercises like Tai Chi and yoga have beneficial effects. Specifically, physical activity was consistently found to enhance cognitive performance, increase mobility, and improve balance and daily living activities, contributing to a better quality of life. However, these benefits vary depending on the type, intensity, and duration of the activity performed. Despite promising results, limitations such as small sample sizes, study heterogeneity, and short-term follow-up periods call for more robust, long-term studies to solidify these findings. This review underscores the potential of tailored physical activity programs as adjunctive therapy in the comprehensive management of neurodegenerative diseases among the elderly population.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; Parkinson’s disease; dementia; exercise; neurodegenerative diseases; older adults; physical activity.

PMID: 38792618 DOI: 10.3390/life14050597