Long-term exercise can reduce the risk of falls for older adults who have Alzheimer’s disease plus neuropsychiatric symptoms such as depression and anxiety, according to a newly published study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

The researchers used data from another study to compare the effects of exercising one hour twice a week for a year versus not exercising but receiving regular care. The risk of falling increased linearly with the Neuropsychiatric Inventory score in the group of study participants who didn’t exercise, but exercise eliminated this risk in members of the group that did exercise.

The researchers said they believed that their study is the first of its kind and said that additional research will be needed to confirm their findings.