Nov. 26–Ann Poehler’s strides quicken on the treadmill. Her feet pound. Her heart races from 150 to 160 beats per minute and more.
A plastic tube jutting from the Prairie Village woman’s mouth feeds carbon dioxide levels to a computer here inside the University of Kansas Alzheimer’s Disease Center. The computer records every respiration while an exercise physiologist coaches her to push harder.
“Can you hang in there like for 15 more seconds?” he urges, making an initial chart of her vitals for an exercise study geared to combat what, for people over 50, is the second-most-feared disease in the United States, just behind cancer. “Good job. Great work. … Hang on.”