Determination of Aerobic Capacity via Cycle Ergometer Exercise Testing in Alzheimer’s Disease

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Abstract

Background:

Older adults with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) may be unable to perform treadmill testing due to balance issues. We investigated whether older adults with AD could successfully complete a peak cycle ergometer test.

Methods:

Peak oxygen consumption (peak ) assessed via a cycle ergometer test in 44 participants with AD (age 78.4 ± 6.8). Physical function was assessed via the incremental shuttle walk, 6-minute walk, and the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB).

Results:

All participants completed the cycle ergometer test successfully. Peak was correlated with SPPB (r = .35, P = .023), shuttle walk (r = .35, P = .024), 6-minute walk (r = .31, P = .05), and inversely with age (r = −.4, P = .009). There was no correlation between peak and cognition.

Conclusion:

Older adults with AD are able to safely complete a peak cycle ergometer exercise testing protocol. We provide an individualized cycle ergometer test for determining aerobic capacity in older adults with AD who may be unable to perform treadmill testing due to balance or gait issues.

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