Improving cognitive function after brain injury: The use of exercise and virtual reality
ABSTRACT To assess the impact of exercise and virtual reality (VR) on the cognitive rehabilitation of persons with traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Before-after trial assessed cognitive function after a 4-week intervention program. A random allocation crossover assessed changes in reaction and movement times after a single bout of VR exercise and a no-exercise control condition.
Brain injury rehabilitation unit in Edinburgh, Scotland.
(1) Four-week intervention: a consecutive sample of 13 suitable TBI adults were compared to control populations (n > 25) of previous TBI patients of similar age, severity, and time postinjury. (2) Single-bout intervention: a consecutive sample of 13 suitable adults with moderate TBI, 6.29 to 202.86 weeks postinjury.
Nonimmersive VR exercise.
(1) Tests of attention, information processing, learning, and memory. (2) Reaction and movement times.
After the 4-week intervention patients performed significantly better than controls on the digit symbol (p < .01). verbal (p < .01), and visual learning tasks (p < .05). Significant improvements in reaction times (p < .01) and movement times (p < .05) were gained following a single bout of VR exercise.
Exercising in a virtual environment offers the potential for significant gains in cognitive function.
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- "large single cage that included meaningful species-specific social interaction and behaviors. Fourteen manipulative objects or toys were routinely rearranged every day and changed twice a week in the enriched housing (Grealy et al., 1999; Hicks et al., 2007; Sozda et al., 2010). Food and water was provided ad libitum and animals were kept on a 12:12 h reversed day:night cycle. "
ABSTRACT: An injury to the forelimb sensorimotor cortex results in the impairment of motor function in animals. Recent research has suggested that intranasal administration of nerve growth factor (NGF), a protein naturally found in the brain, and placement into enriched environments (EE) improves motor and cognitive function after traumatic brain injury (TBI). The purpose of this study was to determine whether NGF, EE, or the combination of both was beneficial in the recovery of motor function following TBI. Uninjured animals had fewer foot faults than injured animals, displaying a lesion effect. Injured animals housed in EE were shown to have fewer foot faults whether or not they received NGF. Injured animals also displayed an increased reliance on the non-impaired limb further validating a lesion effect. EE is an effective treatment on the recovery of motor function after a TBI. Intranasal administration of NGF was found to not be an effective treatment for functional motor recovery after a TBI. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.Brain research bulletin 04/2015; 115. DOI:10.1016/j.brainresbull.2015.04.003 · 2.97 Impact Factor
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- "trials with 2049 adults, increases in AF have been found to predict improvements in executive functioning, processing speed, attention, and declarative memory, with marginal support for working memory (Smith et al., 2010). Additionally, improvements in AF have been found to counteract age-related memory decline (Colcombe and Kramer, 2003; Kramer et al., 1999), delay onset of neurodegenerative diseases (Adlard et al., 2005; Kaspar et al., 2005), as well as enhance recovery from brain injury (Gobbo and O'Mara, 2005; Grealy et al., 1999). Altogether, these findings provide strong support for the link between AF and neurocognition. "
ABSTRACT: Previous reports indicate that among healthy individuals low aerobic fitness (AF) and high body-mass index (BMI) predict poor neurocognition and daily-functioning. It is unknown whether these associations extend to disorders characterized by poor neurocognition, such as schizophrenia. Therefore, we compared AF and BMI in individuals with schizophrenia and non-clinical controls, and then within the schizophrenia group we examined the links between AF, BMI, neurocognition and daily-functioning. Thirty-two individuals with schizophrenia and 64 gender- and age-matched controls completed assessments of AF (indexed by VO2max) and BMI. The former also completed measures of neurocognition, daily-functioning and physical activity. The schizophrenia group displayed significantly lower AF and higher BMI. In the schizophrenia group, AF was significantly correlated with overall neurocognition (r=0.57), along with executive functioning, working memory, social cognition, and processing speed. A hierarchical regression analysis indicated that AF accounted for 22% of the neurocognition variance. Furthermore, AF was significantly correlated with overall daily-functioning (r=0.46). In contrast, BMI displayed significant inverse correlations with neurocognition, but no associations to daily-functioning. AF was significantly correlated physical activity. The authors discuss the potential use of AF-enhancing interventions to improve neurocognitive and daily-functioning in schizophrenia, along with putative neurobiological mechanisms underlying these links, including Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor.Psychiatry Research 12/2014; 220(3):784-791. DOI:10.1016/j.psychres.2014.08.052 · 2.68 Impact Factor
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- "In animals, prior exercise protects and maintains hippocampusdependent learning and memory (Grace et al., 2009; Khabour et al., 2009; Nichol et al., 2007), and enhances hippocampal synaptic plasticity and its signaling cascade in the hippocampal Cornu Ammonis 1 area (CA1) (Khabour et al., 2009; Kim et al., 2010; Zagaar et al., 2012). These ndings suggest that exercise-induced adaptations at the neuronal level may exert protective effects on cognitive function in the case of brain injury or disease-induced impairments such as stroke and neurodegenerative disorders (Bohannon, 1993; Cotman et al., 2007; Grealy et al., 1999; Kramer et al., 1999). The concept that exercise is benecial in the presence of insult has recently been extended to sleep deprivation (SD). "
ABSTRACT: Evidence suggests that regular exercise can protect against learning and memory impairment in the presence of insults such as sleep deprivation. The dentate gyrus (DG) area of hippocampus is a key staging area for learning and memory processes and is particularly sensitive to sleep deprivation. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of regular exercise on early-phase long-term potentiation (E-LTP) and its signaling cascade in the presence of sleep deprivation. Rats were exposed to 4 weeks of regular treadmill exercise then subsequently sleep-deprived for 24 hr using the modified multiple platform model before experimentation. We tested the effects of exercise and/or sleep deprivation using electrophysiological recording in the DG to measure synaptic plasticity; and western blot analysis to quantify the levels of key signaling proteins related to E-LTP. Regular exercise prevented the sleep deprivation-induced impairment of E-LTP in the DG area as well as the sleep deprivation-associated decrease in basal protein levels of phosphorylated and total α calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (P/total-CaMKII) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). High frequency stimulation (HFS) to the DG area was used to model learning stimuli and increased the P-CaMKII and BDNF levels in normal animals: yet failed to change these levels in sleep-deprived rats. However, HFS in control and sleep-deprived rats increased the levels of the phosphatase calcineurin. In contrast, exercise increased BDNF and P-CaMKII levels in exercised/sleep-deprived rats. Regular exercise appears to exert a protective effect against sleep deprivation-induced spatial memory impairment by inducing hippocampal signaling cascades that positively modulate basal and stimulated levels of key effectors such as P-CaMKII and BDNF, while attenuating increases in the protein phosphatase calcineurin.Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience 07/2013; 56. DOI:10.1016/j.mcn.2013.07.011 · 3.73 Impact Factor