FLAME Study Aims to Provide Insights for Tailored Exercise Prescriptions in Seniors
In a groundbreaking initiative, Kirk Erickson, a prominent researcher specializing in exercise and dementia at the AdventHealth Neuroscience Institute, is spearheading a five-year study to unravel the mysteries behind the relationship between physical activity and dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s disease.
The research, known as FLAME (Follow-up Longitudinal Analysis of Moderate-intensity Exercise), will revisit over 600 older adults across three cities who participated in the previous IGNITE study—an exploration into the effects of exercise on brain health. Delayed due to the impacts of COVID-19, the results of the IGNITE study are still pending.
Funded by an $11 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, FLAME aims to comprehensively reassess participants, examining factors such as physical activity levels, memory function, and conducting MRI scans. The goal is to track the trajectory of changes and identify predictors of cognitive decline associated with aging.
Erickson emphasized the significance of the study in tailoring exercise prescriptions for individual seniors. “Exercise affects the brain. That’s established. What we want to do and what we’ve been trying to do is really provide a more definitive statement about the impact of exercise behaviors on reducing age-related cognitive impairments,” he stated.
AdventHealth, alongside the University of Pittsburgh, Northeastern University, and the University of Kansas Medical Center, will serve as research sites for FLAME, which is set to commence early next year.
This extensive study holds the potential to guide doctors in crafting personalized exercise regimens for seniors, contributing to the broader understanding of how physical activity influences cognitive health in aging populations.