Endurance training in old age

Metabolic and neurovascular brain plasticity in old age and its modification by brain amyloid, immunological and metabolic risk factors


Approx. 20-30% of older adults have amyloid depositions in their brain, a biomarker for preclinical Alzheimer’s Disease. Older people also often experience a decline in memory abilities e.g. exact recollection of recent events, and spatial navigation. The risk that these cognitive problems progress and the risk for developing a clinically manifest Alzheimer’s Dementia is increased if in addition to amyloid deposition metabolic risk factors are present (e.g. overweight, high glucose levels and blood pressure).

Background and aims

Physical and cognitive inactivity in combination with metabolic syndrome are important risk factors for a neurodegenerative disease in the usual aging process. However, very little is known about the mechanism through which this metabolic risk impacts brain plasticity.

Cognitive and physical training in old age can improve certain brain functions. Nevertheless, it is unclear whether they are also beneficial for people with higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease (meaning people with amyloid deposition and/or metabolic risk).


EnergI is an intervention study investigating the acute and long-term effects of 4-months of moderate endurance training on cognitive performance and brain plasticity in people of older age with metabolic risk factors and amyloid depositions.

Course of the study

People between 65 and 75 years old can participate. A total of 300 persons will be recruited. 200 of them will be taken over into the intervention period, with half of them completing the training sessions.

Prior to your participation a doctor will inform you about all examinations and the study design. You are free to clarify each question you have at this stage.

Once you have decided to participate, the following examinations, among other, will be conducted:

  • cardiologic check (exercise ECG)
  • neuropsychological tests (e.g. memory abilities)
  • blood samples for bio-chemical and genetic markers
  • imaging examinations of your head (MRI, PET)

The consecutive endurance training will be scheduled 3 times per week over a period of 4 months.

Following this, all pre-exercise examinations will be repeated.

After another 14 months a shortened version of examinations will be conducted to investigate long-term effects.

A full set of information about the study can be downloaded here (in German only):
Flyer EnergI (Bonn)
Flyer EnergI (Magdeburg)

Principle Investigator: Prof. Dr. Emrah Düzel
Start of the study: 2018
Status: multi centric, recruitment completed

Study coordination / Project management

Site Magdeburg:
Anne Hochkeppler
+49 391 67-25065

Site Bonn:
Theresa Schörkmaier
+49 228 43302-808

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