Biomarkers of Alzheimer's Disease and Exercise: One Step Closer to Prevention

Annals of Neurology (Impact Factor: 9.98). 09/2010; 68(3):275-6. DOI: 10.1002/ana.22143
Source: PubMed
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    ABSTRACT: Dementia cases may reach 100 million by 2050. Interventions are sought to curb or prevent cognitive decline. Exercise yields cognitive benefits, but few older adults exercise. Virtual reality-enhanced exercise or "exergames" may elicit greater participation. To test the following hypotheses: (1) stationary cycling with virtual reality tours ("cybercycle") will enhance executive function and clinical status more than traditional exercise; (2) exercise effort will explain improvement; and (3) brain-derived neurotrophic growth factor (BDNF) will increase. Multi-site cluster randomized clinical trial (RCT) of the impact of 3 months of cybercycling versus traditional exercise, on cognitive function in older adults. Data were collected in 2008-2010; analyses were conducted in 2010-2011. 102 older adults from eight retirement communities enrolled; 79 were randomized and 63 completed. A recumbent stationary ergometer was utilized; virtual reality tours and competitors were enabled on the cybercycle. Executive function (Color Trails Difference, Stroop C, Digits Backward); clinical status (mild cognitive impairment; MCI); exercise effort/fitness; and plasma BDNF. Intent-to-treat analyses, controlling for age, education, and cluster randomization, revealed a significant group X time interaction for composite executive function (p=0.002). Cybercycling yielded a medium effect over traditional exercise (d=0.50). Cybercyclists had a 23% relative risk reduction in clinical progression to MCI. Exercise effort and fitness were comparable, suggesting another underlying mechanism. A significant group X time interaction for BDNF (p=0.05) indicated enhanced neuroplasticity among cybercyclists. Cybercycling older adults achieved better cognitive function than traditional exercisers, for the same effort, suggesting that simultaneous cognitive and physical exercise has greater potential for preventing cognitive decline. This study is registered at NCT01167400.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2012 · American journal of preventive medicine
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    ABSTRACT: Grounded in social facilitation theory, this study compared the impact on exercise intensity of a virtual versus a live competitor, when riding a virtual reality-enhanced stationary bike ("cybercycle"). It was hypothesized that competitiveness would moderate effects. Twenty-three female college students were exposed to three conditions on a cybercycle: solo training, virtual competitor, and live competitor. After training without a competitor (solo condition for familiarization with equipment), participants competed against a virtual avatar or live rider (random order of presentation). A repeated-measures analysis revealed a significant condition (virtual/live) by competitiveness (high/low) interaction for exercise intensity (watts). More competitive participants exhibited significantly greater exercise intensity when competing against a live versus virtual competitor. The implication is that live competitors can have an added social facilitation effect and influence exercise intensity, although competitiveness moderates this effect.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2012 · Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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    ABSTRACT: Aerobic training (AT) is a promising intervention for mild cognitive impairment (MCI). To evaluate the effects of AT on cognition and regional brain glucose metabolism (rBGM) in MCI patients. Subjects performed a twice-a-week, moderate intensity, AT program for 24 weeks. Assessments with ADAS-cog, a comprehensive neuropsychological battery, and evaluation of rBGM with positron emission tomography with 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose ([18F]FDG-PET) were performed before and after the intervention. Aerobic capacity was compared using the maximal oxygen consumption VO2max (mL/Kg/min). [18F]FDG-PET data were analyzed on a voxel-by-voxel basis with SPM8 software. Forty subjects were included, with a mean (M) age of 70.3 (5.4) years and an initial Mini-Mental State Exam score of 27.4 (1.7). Comparisons using paired t-tests revealed improvements in the ADAS-cog (M difference: -2.7 (3.7), p < 0.001) and VO2max scores (M difference: 1.8 (2.0) mL/kg/min, p < 0.001). Brain metabolic analysis revealed a bilateral decrease in the rBGM of the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, pFWE = 0.04. This rBGM decrease was negatively correlated with improvement in a visuospatial function/attentional test (rho = -0.31, p = 0.04). Several other brain areas also showed increases or decreases in rBGM. Of note, there was an increase in the retrosplenial cortex, an important node of the default mode network, that was negatively correlated with the metabolic decrease in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (r = -0.51, p = 0.001). AT improved cognition and changed rBGM in areas related to cognition in subjects with MCI.
    Full-text · Article · May 2015 · Journal of Alzheimer's disease: JAD
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