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  1. Lin, Yi-Pei MSc
  2. Yang, Yuan-Han PhD, MD
  3. Hsiao, Shih-Fen PhD, PT


Background: Muscle strength and fitness are important in supporting an independent lifestyle in the elderly, especially those with Alzheimer disease (AD).


Objectives: To establish the relationships of physical activity, key muscle strength, and functional fitness on the elderly with and without AD.


Methods: Twenty AD patients and 20 non-AD elderly were tested for senior functional fitness test, handgrip strength, and muscle strength of elbow flexors and knee extensors. The Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly was also documented.


Results: Handgrip strength and elbow flexor strength were significantly lower in the AD group, especially in those with mild severity. They also showed worst agility and least amount of physical activity weekly. Handgrip and elbow flexor strength of the AD group also correlated with the Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly.


Conclusions: Older people with AD appear to engage less in physical activity as the disease progresses. The decline in muscle strength and agility might contribute further to limited physical activity and dependent lifestyle.