Sports Training Against Neurodegenerative Diseases

Call: Erasmus+ Sport 2019 Collaborative Partnerships

Duration: up to 36 months


The World Health Organization states that approximately 50 million people worldwide have dementia, and the global cost of dementia is estimated to be $818 billion.

According to Dementia Statistics Hub of the Alzheimer’s Research UK, in Western Europe around 7.5 million people live with dementia, and such number is projected to increase to 14.3 million by 2050. In the European Union the cost of dementia is estimated to be €105.2 billion.

There are over 100 different diseases or conditions which can lead to dementia, the most common being Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD).

AD affects about 800,000 new patients every year in Europe, and it is directly responsible for 50% of the dependency of aged persons.

PD is the second most common neurodegenerative disease and currently affects over 1.2 million people across Europe. The annual European cost of PD is estimated to be 13.9 billion euros, while the number of people with PD is set to double by 2030 with an increasing ageing population.

The majority of care is provided by family carers, while the most common treatment is represented by medications such as antidepressants and antipsychotics.

Sport acts as a real therapy for people with neurodegenerative diseases, and is easily accessible and healthy. Benefitting both physical and mental health, regular exercise has a significant impact on the wellbeing of people with neurodegenerative diseases by offering improvements in physical fitness, balance, strength, mood, self-esteem, and cognitive abilities. Conclusions from a number of studies postulate that physical activity has the potential to slow down cognitive decline of those already suffering from Dementia, offering benefits for people in all stages of the condition and also for prevention.

Main Objective

STAND project aims at creating and spreading a specific protocol to tackle neurodegenerative diseases through sports and physical activity. The protocol will allow sports professionals to train and manage people with dementia in order to improve the quality of their lives and provide sports facilities with a further service for a more inclusive society.

Direct Beneficiaries

  • Sports trainers
  • People with neurodegenerative diseases

Indirect Beneficiaries

  • Sports and rehabilitation facilities
  • Carers and families of people with dementia
  • The whole civil society

Main Project Activities

  1. Research of best practices related to exercise for neurodegenerative diseases at European level.
  2. Definition of the guidelines to train the sports professionals involved in the project.
  3. Implementation of the pilot actions with people affected by neurodegenerative diseases.
  4. Definition of the STAND protocol, with related validation and recognition at European level.
  5. Creation of a toolkit to be spread in sports and rehabilitation facilities – and to help carers.

Work Packages

WP1 – Project Management

WP2 – Research of best practices at European level

WP3 – Definition of the STAND guidelines

WP4 – Pilot actions with people affected by neurodegenerative diseases

WP5 – Definition, validation and recognition of the STAND protocol

WP6 – Creation of the STAND toolkit

WP7 – Project communication and dissemination

WP8 – Project monitoring and evaluation

Main Intellectual Outputs

  • Review of best practices at European level.
  • STAND guidelines to train the sports professionals
  • Review of data collected during the pilot actions with patients.
  • STAND protocol with related validation and recognition.
  • STAND toolkit.
  • Project final report.

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