Current treatment in late-life cognitive impairment and dementia is still limited, and there is no cure for brain tissue degeneration or reversal of cognitive decline. Physical activity represents a promising non-pharmacological interventional approach in many diseases causing cognitive impairment, but its effect on brain integrity is still largely unknown. Especially research of cerebral alterations in disease state that goes beyond observations of clinical improvement is crucial to understand disease processes and possible effective treatments. In this systematic review, we address the question how physical activity and fitness in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer's disease (AD) influences brain architecture compared to cognitively healthy elderly.