Research Article

Immune system and quality of life following aerobic exercise versus resistance exercise training among Alzheimer’s

Fadwah M Al-Sharif*

Published: 30 April, 2020 | Volume 4 - Issue 1 | Pages: 003-008

Background: Globally, Alzheimer’s disease (AD) affects millions of elderly individuals are affected with AD who suffer from decline in cognitive ability. However, immune system dysfunction has a role in AD pathogenesis. However, pharmacological therapeutic intervention for caring of ADis not available. Therefore there is a need to develop novel therapeutic modalities for AD individual care.

Objective: The objective of the this trial was to detect immune system and quality of life (QOL) response following aerobic versus resisted exercise training among AD subjects.

Methods: Fifty older with AD disease the range of age ranged was 61 to 73 years enrolled in the current study. However, smoking, liver, chest, renal, metabolic and cardiac dysfunction considered as exclusion criteria. Participants were randomly enrolled into group (A) who applied aerobic exercise intervention, while group (B) applied resisted exercise intervention for period of six months.

Results: The SF-36 which measure QOL along with in the immunological parameters (CD3 count, CD4 count, CD8 count and CD4/CD8 ratio) showed significant improvement following aerobic and resisted exercise. However, comparing between both groups showed significant differences with greater significant improvement in all measured parameters following aerobic exercise training (p < 0.05).

Conclusion: Aerobic exercise is the most appropriate exercise to improve immune system and quality of life among elderly Alzheimer’s.

Read Full Article HTML DOI: 10.29328/journal.aaai.1001018 Cite this Article Read Full Article PDF


Aerobic exercise; Aging; Alzheimer’s; Resisted exercises; Immune system; Quality of life


  1. Jensen CS, Bahl JM, Østergaard LB, Høgh P, Wermuth L, et al. Exercise as a potential modulator of inflammation in patients with Alzheimer's disease measured in cerebrospinal fluid and plasma. Exp Gerontol. 2019; 121: 91-98. PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30980923
  2. Dos Santos Picanco LC, Ozela PF, de Fatima de Brito Brito M, Pinheiro AA, Padilha EC, et al. Alzheimer’s disease: a review from the pathophysiology to diagnosis, new perspectives for pharmacological treatment. Curr Med Chem. 2018; 25: 3141–3159. PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30191777
  3. World Health Organization. Global health and aging. 2019.
  4. Rubio-Perez JM, Morillas-Ruiz JM. A review: inflammatory process in Alzheimer’s disease, role of cytokines. Scientific World Journal. 2012; 2012: 756357. PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22566778
  5. Melrose RJ, Ettenhofer ML, Harwood D, Achamallah N, Campa O, et al. Cerebral metabolism, cognition and functional abilities in Alzheimer disease. J Geriatr Psychiatry Neurol. 2011; 24: 127–134. PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21856969
  6. Heneka MT, Carson MJ, El Khoury J, Landreth GE, Brosseron F, et al. Neuro inflammation in Alzheimer’s disease. Lancet Neurol. 2015; 14: 388-405. PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25792098
  7. Heppner FL, Ransohoff RM, Becher B. Immune attack: The role of inflammation in Alzheimer disease. Nat Rev Neurosci.2015; 16: 358-372. PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25991443
  8. Van Eldik LJ, Carrillo MC, Cole PE, Feuerbach D, Greenberg BD, et al. The roles of inflammation and immune mechanisms in Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimers Dement (N Y). 2016;2: 99-109. PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29067297
  9. Mossaheb N, Zehetmayer S, Jungwirth S, Weissgram S, Rainer M, et al. Are specific symptoms of depression predictive of Alzheimer's dementia? J Clin Psychiatry. 2012; 73: 1009–1015. PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22687442
  10. Lyketsos CG, Carrillo MC, Ryan JM, Khachaturian AS, Trzepacz P, et al. Neuropsychiatric symptoms in Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimers Dement. 2011; 7: 532–539. PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21889116
  11. Heun R, Schoepf D, Potluri R, Natalwala A. Alzheimer's disease and co-morbidity: increased prevalence and possible risk factors of excess mortality in a naturalistic 7-year follow-up. Eur Psychiatry. 2013; 28: 40–48. PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21924588
  12. Alzheimer’s Impact Movement. Alzheimer’s Disease Caregivers Factsheet. Chicago, IL. Alzheimer’s Association; 2017.
  13. Idorn M., Hojman P. Exercise-dependent regulation of NK cells in cancer protection. Trends Mol Med. 2016; 22: 565–577. PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27262760
  14. Hayashino Y, Jackson JL, Hirata T, Fukumori N, Nakamura F, et al. Effects of exercise on C-reactive protein, inflammatory cytokine and adipokine in patients with type 2 diabetes: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Metabol Clin Exp. 2014; 63: 431–440.
  15. Neefkes-Zonneveld CR, Bakkum AJ, Bishop NC, Tulder MW, Janssen TW. Effect of long-term physical activity and acute exercise on markers of systemic inflammation in persons with chronic spinal cord injury: a systematic review. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2015; 96: 30–42. PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25064781
  16. Hammonds TL, Gathright EC, Goldstein CM, Penn MS, Hughes JW. Effects of exercise on c-reactive protein in healthy patients and in patients with heart disease: a meta-analysis. Heart Lung. 2016; 45: 273–282. PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26916454
  17. Meneses-Echavez JF, Correa-Bautista JE, González-Jiménez E, Schmidt RJ, Elkins M, et al. The effect of exercise training on mediators of inflammation in breast cancer survivors: a systematic review with meta-analysis. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2016; 25: 1009–1017. PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27197276
  18. Radak Z, Hart N, Sarga L, Koltai E, Atalay M, et al. Exercise plays a preventive role against Alzheimer's disease. J Alzheimers Dis. 2010; 20: 777–783. PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20182027
  19. Hawley JA, Hargreaves M, Joyner MJ, Zierath JR. Integrative biology of exercise. Cell. 2014; 159: 738–749. PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25417152
  20. De la Rosa A, Olaso-Gonzalez G, Arc-Chagnaud C, Millan F, Salvador-Pascual A, et al. Physical exercise in the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. J Sport Health Sci. 2020; 1-11.
  21. Ware J, Kosinski M, Gandek B. SF-36 health survey: manual & interpretation guide. Lincon, RI: Quality Metric Incorporated. 2000.
  22. Robergs RA, Landwehr R. The surprising history of the ‘‘HRmax=220-age’’ equation. J Exer Physiol. 2002; 5: 1–10.
  23. Ramalho AC, de Lourdes Lima M, Nunes F, Cambuí Z, Barbosa C, et al. The effect of resistance versus aerobic training on metabolic control in patients with type-1 diabetes mellitus. Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2006; 72: 271–276. PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16406128
  24. Vasefi M, Hudson M, Ghaboolian-Zare E. Diet Associated with Inflammation and Alzheimer’s Disease. J Alzheimers Dis Rep. 2019; 3: 299-309. PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31867568
  25. Anshu Agrawal, Janet Baulch, Munjal Acharya, Sudhanshu Agrawal. Identification of Peripheral Immune Mechanisms playing a protective role in Alzheimer's Disease progression. J Immunol. 2019; 202: 36.
  26. Frederiksen KS, Gjerum L, Waldemar G, Hasselbalch SG. Effects of physical exercise on Alzheimer's disease biomarkers: a systematic review of intervention studies. J Alzheimers Dis. 2018; 61: 359–372. PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29154278
  27. Kelly A. Exercise-Induced Modulation of Neuroinflammation in Models of Alzheimer’s Disease. Brain Plast. 2018; 4: 81–94. PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30564548
  28. Drela N, Kozdron E, Szczypiorski P. Moderate exercise may attenuate some aspects of immunosenescence. BMC Geriatr. 2004; 4: 8–15. PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15456521
  29. Nieman DC, Cook VD, Henson DA, Suttles J, Rejeski WJ, et al. Moderate exercise training and natural killer cell cytotoxic activity in breast cancer patients. Int J Sports Med. 1995; 16: 334–337. PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7558532
  30. Shinkai S, Kohno H, Kimura K, Komura T, Asai H, et al. Physical activity and immune senescence in men. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1995; 27: 1516–1526. PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8587488
  31. Crist DM, Mackinnon LT, Thomson RF, Atterbom HA, Egan PA. Physical exercise increases natural cellular-mediated tumor cytotoxicity in the elderly women. Gerontology. 1989; 35: 66–71. PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2792786
  32. Peeri M, Azarbayjani M, Akbarpour M, Ebrahimi M. The effect of aerobic training on the immune system of aging men. Annals Biological Res. 2011; 2: 299-304.
  33. Kapasi ZF, Ouslander JG, Schnelle JF, Kutner M, Fahey JL. Effects of an exercise intervention on immunologic parameters in frail elderly nursing home residents. J Gerontol Med Sci. 2003; 58: 636–643. PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12865480
  34. Bermon S, Philip P, Candito M, Ferrari P, Dolisic C. Effects of strength exercise and training on the natural killer cell counts in elderly humans. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2001; 41: 196–202. PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11447362
  35. Flynn MG, Fahlman M, Brauun WA, Lambert CP, Bouillon LE, et al. Effects of resistance training on selected indexes of immune function in elderly women. J Appl Physiol. 1999; 86: 1905–1913. PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10368355
  36. Flynn MG, Mcfarlin BK, Philips MD, Stewart LK, Timmerman KL. Toll-like receptor 4 and CD14 mRNA expression are lower in resistive exercise-trained elderly women. J Appl Physiol. 2003; 95: 1833–1842. PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12832426
  37. Rall LC, Roubenoff R, Cannon JG, Abad LW, Dinarello CA, et al. Effects of progressive resistance training on immune response in aging and chronic inflammation. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1996; 28: 1356–1365. PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8933485
  38. Mcfarlin BK, Flynn MG, Campbell WW, Stewart LK, Timmerman KL. TLR4 is lower in resistance-trained older women and related to inflammatory cytokines. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2004; 36: 1876–1883. PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15514501
  39. Raso V, Benard G, DA Silva Duarte AJ, Natale VM. Effect of Resistance Training on Immunological Parameters of Healthy Elderly Women. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2007; 39: 2152-2159. PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18046186
  40. Miles MP, KraemerW J, NindlB C, Grove DS, Leach SK, et al. Strength, workload, anaerobic intensity and the immune response to resistance exercise in women. Acta Physiol Scand. 2003; 178: 155–1563. PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12780390
  41. Bruunsgaard H, Pedersen BK. Special feature for the olympics: effects of exercise on the immune system in the elderly population. Immunol Cell Biol. 2000; 78: 523–531. PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11050535
  42. Woods JA, Lowder TW, Keylock KT. Can exercise training improve immune function in the aged? Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2002; 959: 117–127. PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11976191
  43. Rall LC, Roubenoff R, Cannon JG, Abad LW, Dinarello CA, et al. Effects of progressive resistance training on immune response in aging and chronic inflammation. Med Sci Sport Exerc. 1996; 28: 1356–1365. PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8933485
  44. Brown DW, Balluz LS, Heath GW. Associations between recommended levels of physical activity and health-related quality of life—Findings from the 2001 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) Survey. Prev Med. 2003; 37: 520–528. PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14572437
  45. Segal R, Evans W, Johnson D. Structured exercise improves physical functioning in women with stages I and II breast cancer: results of a randomized controlled trial. J Clin Oncol 2001; 19: 657–665. PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11157015
  46. Painter P, Carlson L, Carey S, Paul SM, Myll J. Physical functioning and health-related quality-of-life changes with exercise training in hemodialysis patients. Am J Kidney Dis. 2000; 35: 482–492. PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10692275
  47. Schmitz N, Kruse J, Kugler J. The association between physical exercises and health-related quality of life in subjects with mental disorders: results from a cross-sectional survey. Preventive Medicine 2004; 39: 1200–1207. PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15539056
  48. Mahendra N. Exercise and behavioural management training improves physical health and reduces depression in people with Alzheimer’s disease. Evidence-based Healthcare. 2004; 8: 77–79.
  49. Bowen DJ, Fesinmeyer MD, Yasui Y, Tworoger S, Ulrich CM, et al. Randomized trial of exercise in sedentary middle aged women: effects on quality of life. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2006; 3: 34. PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17020620
  50. Sørensen M, Anderssen S, Hjerman I, Holme I, Ursin H. The effect of exercise and diet on mental health and quality of life in middle-aged individuals with elevated risk factors for cardiovascular disease. J Sports Sci. 1999; 17: 369-377. PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10413264
  51. Imayama I, Alfano CM, Cadmus Bertram LA, Wang C, Xiao L, et al. Effects of 12-month exercise on health-related quality of life: a randomized controlled trial. Prev Med. 2011; 52: 344-351. PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21371498
  52. Abu-Omar K, Rütten A, Lehtinen V. Mental health and physical activity in the European Union. Soz Praventivmed. 2004; 49: 301-309. PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15497649
  53. McAuley E, Mailey E, Mullen S, Szabo A, Wojcicki T, et al. Growth trajectories of exercise self-efficacy in older adults: influence of measures and initial status. Health Psychol. 2011; 30: 75–83. PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21038962
  54. Hoffmann K, Frederiksen KS, Sobol NA, Beyer N, Vogel A, et al. Preserving cognition, quality of life, physical health and functional ability in Alzheimer's disease: the effect of physical exercise (ADEX trial): rationale and design. Neuroepidemiology. 2013; 41: 198-207. PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24135720
  55. Paluska SA, Schwenk TL. Physical activity and mental health: current concepts. Sports Med. 2000; 29: 167– 180. PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10739267
  56. Nichol K, Deeny SP, Seif J, Camaclang K, Cotman CW. Exercise improves cognition and hippocampal plasticity in APOE epsilon4 mice. Alzheimers Dement. 2009; 5: 287-294. PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19560099
  57. van Praag H, Christie BR, Sejnowski TJ, Gage FH. Running enhances neurogenesis, learning, and long-term potentiation in mice. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1999; 96: 13427-13431. PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC23964/
  58. Barde YA. Neurotrophins: a family of proteins supporting the survival of neurons. Prog Clin Biol Res. 1994; 390: 45-56. PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7724649
  59. Stummer W, Weber K, Tranmer B, Baethmann A, Kempski O. Reduced mortality and brain damage after locomotor activity in gerbil forebrain ischemia. Stroke. 1994; 25: 1862-1869. PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8073470
  60. Carro E, Trejo JL, Busiguina S, Torres-Aleman I. Circulating insulin-like growth factor I mediates the protective effects of physical exercise against brain insults of different etiology and anatomy. J Neurosci. 2001; 21: 5678-5684. PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11466439
  61. Lu B, Chow A. Neurotrophins and hippocampal synaptic transmission and plasticity. J Neurosci Res. 1999; 58: 76-87. PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10491573
  62. Black JE, Isaacs KR, Anderson BJ, Alcantara AA, Greenough WT. Learning causes synaptogenesis, whereas motor activity causes angiogenesis, in cerebellar cortex of adult rats. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 1990; 87: 5568-5572. PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1695380
  63. Isaacs KR, Anderson BJ, Alcantara AA, Black JE, Greenough WT. Exercise and the brain: angiogenesis in the adult rat cerebellum after vigorous physical activity and motor skill learning. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 1992; 12: 110-119. PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1370068
  64. Cotman CW, Berchtold NC. Exercise: a behavioral intervention to enhance brain health and plasticity. Trends Neurosci. 2002; 25: 295-301. PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12086747
  65. Greist JH, Klein MH, Eischens RJ, Faris J, Gurman AS, et al. Running as treatment for depression. Compr Psychiatry. 1979; 20: 41 –54. PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/759100

Similar Articles

Recently Viewed

Read More

Most Viewed

Read More