Exercise, brain, and cognition across the life span.
ABSTRACT This is a brief review of current evidence for the relationships between physical activity and exercise and the brain and cognition throughout the life span in non-pathological populations. We focus on the effects of both aerobic and resistance training and provide a brief overview of potential neurobiological mechanisms derived from non-human animal models. Whereas research has focused primarily on the benefits of aerobic exercise in youth and young adult populations, there is growing evidence that both aerobic and resistance training are important for maintaining cognitive and brain health in old age. Finally, in these contexts, we point out gaps in the literature and future directions that will help advance the field of exercise neuroscience, including more studies that explicitly examine the effect of exercise type and intensity on cognition, the brain, and clinically significant outcomes. There is also a need for human neuroimaging studies to adopt a more unified multi-modal framework and for greater interaction between human and animal models of exercise effects on brain and cognition across the life span.
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ABSTRACT: We aim to analyze the effects of an 8-month physical activity intervention on cardiorespiratory fitness, body mass index (BMI), and vigilance performance in an adult obese population. We conducted an 8-month physical activity intervention based on dance and rhythmic activities. The weekly frequency was 2 sessions of 1 hr per day. Training sessions were divided into 3 phases: a 10-min warm-up, 40 min of dance and rhythmic activities, and 10 min to cool-down. To assess cardiorespiratory fitness, participants performed a modified version of the 6-min walk test from the Senior Fitness Test battery (Larsson & Mattsson, 2001; Rikli & Jones, 1999). Vigilance performance was measured by means of the psychomotor vigilance task (PVT). Two measurements were performed immediately before and after the intervention. The results revealed that participants improved their cardiorespiratory fitness, BMI, and vigilance performance after the intervention. All in all, findings contribute new empirical evidence to the field that investigates the benefits of physical activity intervention on cognitive processes in obese population.Journal of Motor Behavior 03/2015; DOI:10.1080/00222895.2015.1012580 · 1.41 Impact Factor
Article: The Adaptable Brain[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: We present a primer on the adaptability of the brain. We start with a brief historical overview of the biology of neuroplasticity. Environmental enrichment, social stimulation, exercise, and pharmacologic interventions (eg, antidepressant drugs) have all been reported to influence neuroplasticity. Since adaptive changes in the brain involve changes in how genes are expressed, we look at some approaches to that. Next, we consider a vital, but often overlooked, factor in brain development throughout life—social interactions. We conclude with a future perspective.Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation 01/2014; 30(1):2-7. DOI:10.1097/TGR.0000000000000003 · 0.14 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Introduction: Cognitive impairment is a highly prevalent, disabling, and poorly managed consequence of multiple sclerosis (MS). Exercise training represents a promising approach for managing cognitive impairment in this population. However, there is limited evidence supporting an optimal exercise stimulus for improving cognition in MS. The current study compared the acute effects of moderate-intensity treadmill walking, moderate-intensity cycle ergometry, and guided yoga with those of quiet rest on executive control in 24 persons with relapsing-remitting MS without impaired cognitive processing speed using a within-subjects, repeated measures design. Method: Participants completed four experimental conditions that consisted of 20 minutes of moderate-intensity treadmill walking exercise, moderate-intensity cycle ergometer exercise, guided yoga, and quiet rest in a randomized, counterbalanced order. Participants underwent a modified-flanker task as a measure of executive control immediately prior to and following each condition. Results: Repeated measures analyses of variance (ANOVAs) indicated general pre-to-post improvements in reaction time, but not accuracy, on the modified-flanker task for all three exercise modalities compared with quiet rest. However, there were additional, selective pre-to-post reductions in the cost of interfering stimuli on reaction time on the modified-flanker task for treadmill walking, F(1, 23) = 4.67, p = .04, ηp(2) = .17, but not cycle ergometry, F(1, 23) = 0.12, p = .73, ηp(2) < .01, or guided yoga, F(1, 23) = 0.73, p = .40, ηp(2) = .03, compared with quiet rest. Conclusions: The present results support treadmill walking as the modality of exercise that might exert the largest beneficial effects on executive control in persons with relapsing-remitting MS without impaired cognitive processing speed. This represents an exciting starting point for delineating the appropriate exercise stimulus (i.e., modality and intensity) for inclusion in a subsequent longitudinal exercise training intervention for improving cognitive performance in this population.Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology 02/2015; 37(2):1-11. DOI:10.1080/13803395.2014.1001723 · 2.16 Impact Factor