Title of project or programme
Title of PI Physical activity, mastication and pain in dementia
Principal Investigators of project/programme grant
Title Forname Surname Institution Country
prof.dr. Erik Scherder VU University, Clinical Neuropsychology Netherlands
dr. Laura Eggermont VU University, Clinical Neuropsychology Netherlands
Address of institution of lead PI
Institution VU University, Clinical Neuropsychology
Street Address Van der Boechorststraat 1
City Amsterdam
Postcode 1081 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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