A social dancing pilot intervention for older adults at high risk for Alzheimer's disease and related dementias

Helena M. Blumen, Emmeline Ayers, Cuiling Wang, Anne F. Ambrose, Joe Verghese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Close to 6 million older US adults have Alzheimer's disease or related dementias, yet there is currently no cure or effective treatment. This single-blind randomized controlled trial (clinicaltrials.gov: NCT03475316) aims to establish feasibility, and explore the relative efficacy, of a 6-month social ballroom dancing intervention versus a 6-month active control intervention (treadmill walking) for improving executive function in 32 older adults at increased risk for Alzheimer's disease or related dementias. Dementia-at-risk status is determined with cut-scores on the memory impairment screen (≥3 to ≤6) and/or the AD8 Dementia Screening Interview (≥1). The primary outcome is a composite executive function score from digitsymbol substitution, flanker interference and walking-while-talking tasks. The secondary outcome is functional neuroplasticity during fMRI-adapted versions of digit-symbol substitution, flanker interference and walking-while-talking. Financial & competing interests disclosure This research is funding by National Institute of Health/National Institute on Aging grant R21AG057586 and Dance for Cognitive Enhancement (dancealz.org). The authors have no other relevant affiliations or financial involvement with any organization or entity with a financial interest in or financial conflict with the subject matter or materials discussed in the manuscript apart from those disclosed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-194
Number of pages12
JournalNeurodegenerative Disease Management
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Clinical trials
  • Dementia
  • Imaging


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