Walking stabilizes cognitive functioning in Alzheimer's disease (AD) across one year
ABSTRACT AD is a public health epidemic, which seriously impacts cognition, mood and daily activities; however, one type of activity, exercise, has been shown to alter these states. Accordingly, we sought to investigate the relationship between exercise and mood, in early-stage AD patients (N=104) from California, over a 1-year period. Patients completed the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS), and Blessed-Roth Dementia Rating Scale (BRDRS), while their caregivers completed the Yale Physical Activity Survey (YALE), Profile of Mood States (POMS), the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI) and Functional Abilities Questionnaire (FAQ). Approximately half of the participants were female, from a variety of ethnic groups (Caucasian=69.8%; Latino/Hispanic Americans=20.1%). Our results demonstrated that the patients spent little time engaged in physical activity in general, their overall activity levels decreased over time, and this was paired with a change in global cognition (e.g., MMSE total score) and affect/mood (e.g., POMS score). Patients were parsed into Active and Sedentary groups based on their Yale profiles, with Active participants engaged in walking activities, weekly, over 1 year. Here, Sedentary patients had a significant decline in MMSE scores, while the Active patients had an attenuation in global cognitive decline. Importantly, among the Active AD patients, those individuals who engaged in walking for more than 2h/week had a significant improvement in MMSE scores. Structured clinical trials which seek to increase the amount of time AD patients were engaged in walking activities and evaluate the nature and scope of beneficial effects in the brain are warranted.
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ABSTRACT: Although severe stress can elicit toxicity, mild stress often elicits adaptations. Here we review the literature on stress-induced adaptations versus stress sensitization in models of neurodegenerative diseases. We also describe our recent findings that chronic proteotoxic stress can elicit adaptations if the dose is low but that high-dose proteotoxic stress sensitizes cells to subsequent challenges. In these experiments, long-term, low-dose proteasome inhibition elicited protection in a superoxide dismutase-dependent manner. In contrast, acute, high-dose proteotoxic stress sensitized cells to subsequent proteotoxic challenges by eliciting catastrophic loss of glutathione. However, even in the latter model of synergistic toxicity, several defensive proteins were upregulated by severe proteotoxicity. This led us to wonder whether high-dose proteotoxic stress can elicit protection against subsequent challenges in astrocytes, a cell type well known for their resilience. In support of this new hypothesis, we found that the astrocytes that survived severe proteotoxicity became harder to kill. The adaptive mechanism was glutathione dependent. If these findings can be generalized to the human brain, similar endogenous adaptations may help explain why neurodegenerative diseases are so delayed in appearance and so slow to progress. In contrast, sensitization to severe stress may explain why defenses eventually collapse in vulnerable neurons.Dose-Response 01/2014; 12(1):24-56. DOI:10.2203/dose-response.13-016.Leak · 1.23 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The purpose of this article is to describe the conceptual model and implementation strategies of an evidence-based, aquatic exercise program specifically targeting individuals with dementia-The Watermemories Swimming Club (WSC). Physical exercise not only improves the functional capacity of people with dementia but also has significant effects on other aspects of quality of life such as sleep, appetite, behavioral and psychological symptoms, depression, and falls. Additionally, exercise can improve a person's overall sense of well-being and positively enhance their sociability. The WSC was designed to increase physical exercise while being easy to implement, safe, and pleasurable. Many challenges were faced along the way, and we discuss how these were overcome. Implications for nurses are also provided.Journal of Gerontological Nursing 01/2013; 39(2):1-5. DOI:10.3928/00989134-20130109-03 · 0.62 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Variation in voluntary exercise behavior is an important determinant of long-term human health. Increased physical activity is used as a preventative measure or therapeutic intervention for disease, and a sedentary lifestyle has generally been viewed as unhealthy. Predisposition to engage in voluntary activity is heritable and induces protective metabolic changes, but its complex genetic/genomic architecture has only recently begun to emerge. We first present a brief historical perspective and summary of the known benefits of voluntary exercise. Second, we describe human and mouse model studies using genomic and transcriptomic approaches to reveal the genetic architecture of exercise. Third, we discuss the merging of genomic information and physiological observations, revealing systems and networks that lead to a more complete mechanistic understanding of how exercise protects against disease pathogenesis. Finally, we explore potential regulation of physical activity through epigenetic mechanisms, including those that persist across multiple generations.Trends in Genetics 01/2013; DOI:10.1016/j.tig.2012.12.007 · 11.60 Impact Factor