There is a strong belief among many people that table tennis activity can have mental, physical, and social benefits to those living with Alzheimer’s; from the likes of improved concentration through the focus of playing, increased upper body strength through the movement of playing, and a feeling of happiness through the fun of playing.

We caught up with Andrew Battley, Chief Investigator for this study, to find out more:

What are the main aims of the study?BAT Logo

This study is looking to understand exactly what benefits table tennis can have for people living with Alzheimer’s disease and to show the full and varied potential benefits that table tennis activity can have for those with early stage Alzheimer’s.

What does it involve for a participant?

Volunteers will initially go through a pre-screening to confirm they are able to fully take part in our study. This will be a simple phone call from the research team at King’s College London.

If entered into our study, volunteers will be split into one of two groups. The first group will continue life as normal for the length of the study. The second group will take part in table tennis sessions with fully qualified coaches at a central London location each week.
All volunteers in our study will be required to have an MRI scan and complete some simple memory tests at the beginning and end of the study at King’s College London.

How long is the study for?

The study will last around 12 weeks total.

A participant taking part in a table tennis session

A participant taking part in a BAT table tennis session

What do you hope the outcomes of the study will be?

We hope to show exactly where and how improvements in people’s health and wellbeing are being seen through table tennis activity. To highlight how people can truly benefit.

We are also treating this very much as a pilot study to open up larger studies in this area in future, and drive the conversation forward around drug free alternatives.

Where is the study based?

The before and after study MRI scans and memory tests will take place at King’s College London (near Denmark Hill station). The table tennis sessions, for those put into that group, will take place in Central London (near Farringdon).

Who can take part?

Anyone over the age of 50 who have been diagnosed with early stage Alzheimer’s, can commit to the length of the study, and can stand and walk freely unaided for 30mins are able to take part. The only real restriction is those with pacemakers, as they are unable to have the MRI scans.

Lady-LookingatleafletYou can see if you are eligible for this study, as well as others around the nation, by logging into your Join Dementia Research account.

Not registered with Join Dementia Research? Why not sign up today?