Title of project or programme
Title of PIPhysical activity, mastication and pain in dementia
Principal Investigators of project/programme grant
prof.dr.ErikScherderVU University, Clinical NeuropsychologyNetherlands
dr.LauraEggermontVU University, Clinical NeuropsychologyNetherlands
Address of institution of lead PI
InstitutionVU University, Clinical Neuropsychology
Street AddressVan der Boechorststraat 1
Postcode1081 BT
  • Netherlands
Source of funding information

Dutch Alzheimer’s Association (Azheimer Nederland)

Total sum awarded (Euro)


Start date of award


Total duration of award in months


The project/programme is most relevant to
  • Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias

physical activity, exercise, mastication, oral care, teeth care, pain, cognition, behaviour, sleep-wake rhythm, mood, dementia, aging

Research abstract in English

An increase in physical activity, e.g. participation in an exercise program, appears to have a beneficial influence on cognitive functioning in older people and in patients in a very early stage of dementia. Effects of a relative short exercise program, i.e. 6 weeks, are inconsistent in a more advanced stage of dementia. Consequently, we started a longitudinal physical activity program that now runs for 1.5 years, to examine whether a much longer intervention period yields more beneficial effects on cognition and behaviour in a more advanced stage of dementia. One type of physical activity that receives hardly any attention with respect to memory is mastication. Results of animal experimental studies and a few human experimental studies with young and older persons without dementia show a close relationship between mastication and memory. Therefore, we started a project on the relationship between mastication, cognition, and behaviour in patients with dementia. Finally, pain is one of the most undertreated symptoms in dementia and may therefore be one of the causes of inactivity/passivity in older persons with dementia. In other words, physical activity and pain are closely related. For that reason, a project is implemented in which pain observation takes place daily; such an increase in the quality of caring highly contributes to a more effective treatment strategy.

Lay Summary
In which category does this research fall?
  • Clinical research

    Types: Investments > €500k
    Member States: Netherlands
    Diseases: Alzheimer's disease & other dementias
    Years: 2011
    Database Categories: N/A
    Database Tags: N/A

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