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Dementia is a devastating diagnosis for millions of individuals and the prevalence is projected to increase significantly in the next 30 years. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2019), there are over five million individuals aged 65 and over living in the United States with dementia. That number is estimated to increase to 14 million by 2060. The impact of the increasing prevalence of dementia is significant. Because dementia is a complex disease caused by over 50 underlying health conditions, finding effective treatments for the disease is difficult. This makes prevention of dementia extremely important. The purpose of this literature review is to analyze if exercise prevents dementia in older adults. Studies were included if they analyzed physical activity with the onset of dementia or changes in various cognitive abilities. This literature available to date indicates that exercise is an effective measure to prevent dementia in older adults.


Physician Assistant Studies

Degree Name

Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS)

Date of Work


First Advisor

McHugo, Jeanie

Publication Date

Spring 2024


Dementia prevention, exercise, physical activity, preventing dementia, modifiable risk factors, older adults


Medicine and Health Sciences

Exercise and Preventing Dementia in Older Adults