Physical exercise improves quality of life, depressive symptoms, and cognition across chronic brain disorders: a transdiagnostic systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials
TypePeer reviewed; Journal article
MetadataShow full item record
We performed a meta-analysis to synthesize evidence on the efficacy and safety of physical exercise as an add-on therapeutic intervention for quality of life (QoL), depressive symptoms and cognition across six chronic brain disorders: Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia and unipolar depression. 122 studies ( = k) (n = 7231) were included. Exercise was superior to treatment as usual in improving QoL (k = 64, n = 4334, ES = 0.40, p < 0.0001), depressive symptoms (k = 60, n = 2909, ES = 0.78, p < 0.0001), the cognitive domains attention and working memory (k = 21, n = 1313, ES = 0.24, p < 0.009), executive functioning (k = 14, n = 977, ES = 0.15, p = 0.013), memory (k = 12, n = 994, ES = 0.12, p = 0.038) and psychomotor speed (k = 16, n = 896, ES = 0.23, p = 0.003). Meta-regression showed a dose–response effect for exercise time (min/week) on depressive symptoms (β = 0.007, p = 0.012). 69% of the studies that reported on safety, found no complications. Exercise is an efficacious and safe add-on therapeutic intervention showing a medium-sized effect on QoL and a large effect on mood in patients with chronic brain disorders, with a positive dose–response correlation. Exercise also improved several cognitive domains with small but significant effects.
CitationDauwan M, Begemann, Slot, Lee, Scheltens P, Sommer IEC. Physical exercise improves quality of life, depressive symptoms, and cognition across chronic brain disorders: a transdiagnostic systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Journal of Neurology. 2019
Copyright 2019 The Author(s)