For the purposes of this review, only randomized controlled trials will be considered. We will evaluate and include studies according to the following criteria: participants, interventions, outcome(s) of interest, and study design. Participant inclusion criteria will include at least one sample group with Alzheimer’s disease, as described by individual study authors. We will include studies with additional diagnostic or caregiver groups, but inclusion of participants with AD and outcomes specific to those with this condition will be considered an inclusion criterion. To be considered eligible for inclusion, studies must also contain one or more exercise-based intervention. To be able to evaluate the exercise prescriptions (dose, mode, type), we will consider only structured and planned exercise interventions of prescribed frequency, dose, and/or intensity as specified by study authors. For the purposes of this review, we will use the following definition of exercise, sourced from the Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee “physical activity that is planned, structured, repetitive, and designed to improve or maintain physical fitness, physical performance, or health [26]. Exercise, like physical activity, encompasses all intensities [27], p. C-3.”. We will use the term exercise synonymously with structured physical activity throughout this review.

Based on this definition, we will include both resistance and aerobic exercises. Examples include, but are not limited to, walking, swimming, weight training, and use of exercise equipment in a home or gym setting that are reported with prescribed time, frequency, and/or intensity (see examples in Table Table11).

Example intervention parameters

We will classify comparative doses of exercise as uniform with the primary intervention group (for example, strength training compared to alternative dose of strength training) or variant (for example, strength training, compared to non-strength training forms of exercise). Only control (non-exercise groups) and comparative dose groups will be considered.