Occupational Engagement

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Occupational therapist Mary Reilly (1962) previously claimed that “man through the use of his hands, as they are energized by mind and will, can influence the state of his own health” (p. 2). In other words, Reilly (1962) indicates that persons, through occupational engagement, as they are energized by motivational forces, can influence their health and well-being. Based on this hypothesis, one could predict that through occupational engagement, individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease will experience, for example, improvement in their symptoms or, for individuals without Alzheimer’s Disease, even help prevent the disease later in life. This paper investigates whether exercise, as a form of occupational engagement, does indeed benefit or improve…show more content…
That is because, for one, it is challenging to find existing literature that incorporates the terms “occupational engagement” and “exercise” regarding its impact on Alzheimer’s Disease. Thus, the following studies gathered and presented are based on the assumption that the participants who are exercising in the studies are indeed engaged in the activity. Admittedly, this is a limitation of the paper, but it is also an opportunity to acknowledge that there is a need for more research in this area. Research undertaken in this area can potentially advance the occupational therapy knowledge…show more content…
The researchers (2005) studied the brains of two groups of mice—one group engaged in voluntary exercise via a running wheel and the other group was sedentary for a duration of five months. Outcome measures included changes in disease biomarkers and changes in time to complete a water maze after a number of trials (offering insight into their levels of learning) (Adlard et al, 2005). The researchers (2005) found significantly reduced amyloid-B plaques (characteristic of Alzheimer’s Disease) in the frontal cortex and hippocampus of the mice within the exercise group compared to the mice within the sedentary group. The mice within the exercise group also demonstrated improved completion time of the water maze task (Adlard et al, 2005). This indicates that mice in the physical activity group had enhanced learning capacities, as the variable of swimming speed was controlled for (Adlard et al, 2005).
Rolland, Abellan Van Kan, and Vellas (2008) published a systematic review of articles that looked into the effect of physical activity on Alzheimer’s disease pathophysiology and symptomology. The researchers (2008) searched three separate databases, and gathered articles from 1966 to 2007. Retrospective studies were scarcely included in the review since “they are subject to important methodological drawbacks such as survival
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