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Assisted Cycling Therapy Improves Cognitive Planning in Adolescents with Down Syndrome

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This study examines cognitive planning in adolescents with Down syndrome (DS) following an 8-week assisted cycling therapy intervention. Forty-three participants were randomly assigned to assisted cycling (AC) (i.e., at least 30% faster than self-selected cadence accomplished by a motor), voluntary

This study examines cognitive planning in adolescents with Down syndrome (DS) following an 8-week assisted cycling therapy intervention. Forty-three participants were randomly assigned to assisted cycling (AC) (i.e., at least 30% faster than self-selected cadence accomplished by a motor), voluntary cycling (VC) (self-selected cadence), and no cycling (NC) control group. Both AC and VC rode a stationary bicycle three times/week, 30 minutes/session, for eight weeks in duration. Participants completed cognitive testing that assessed cognitive planning at the beginning (i.e., pretest) and end (i.e., posttest) of the 8-week intervention. Consistent with our hypothesis, the results showed that cognitive planning improved following eight weeks of cycling for the AC group. The same results were not seen for individuals in the VC or NC groups. Our results suggest that assisted cycling therapy may induce permanent changes in the prefrontal cortex in adolescents with DS.

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2015-05

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Effects of Assisted Cycle Therapy on Short Term and Working Memory in Adolescents with Down Syndrome

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To examine the effect of an 8-week cycling intervention on short term and working memory in adolescents with Down syndrome (DS), participants were divided into Assisted Cycling Therapy (ACT), Voluntary Cycling (VC), or No Cycling (NC) groups. Forward and backward

To examine the effect of an 8-week cycling intervention on short term and working memory in adolescents with Down syndrome (DS), participants were divided into Assisted Cycling Therapy (ACT), Voluntary Cycling (VC), or No Cycling (NC) groups. Forward and backward digit span assessments were administered prior to and after the intervention to evaluate short term and working memory respectively. 8 weeks of exercise via ACT showed a trend toward conventional levels of significance in the number of levels completed in the backward direction.

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2015-05

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The Effect of Exercise Therapy on Cognitive Function in Adolescents with Down Syndrome

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This study examines the effect of exercise therapy on a stationary bike on cognitive function, specifically inhibition and set-switching, in adolescents with Down syndrome. 44 participants were randomly divided between the voluntary cycling therapy group (VCT) (i.e., self-selected cadence), assisted

This study examines the effect of exercise therapy on a stationary bike on cognitive function, specifically inhibition and set-switching, in adolescents with Down syndrome. 44 participants were randomly divided between the voluntary cycling therapy group (VCT) (i.e., self-selected cadence), assisted cycling therapy group (ACT) (i.e., 30% faster than self-selected cadence accomplished by a motor), and a control group (NC) in which the participants did not undergo any exercise therapy. Both cycling groups rode a stationary bicycle, for 30 minutes, three times a week, for eight-weeks. At the beginning (i.e., pretest) and end (i.e., posttest) of the eight-week session the participants completed tasks to evaluate their cognitive function. They completed three trials of the card sort test (i.e., set-switching) and three trials of the knock-tap test (i.e, inhibition) before and after eight-weeks of cycling therapy. The scores of these tests were analyzed using one-way ANOVA between groups and paired samples t-tests. The results showed that after eight-weeks of cycling therapy the participants in the VCT group performed worse in the knock-tap test, but improved in two trials of the card sort test. The results also showed that the participants in the ACT group performed worse after eight-weeks of exercise therapy in one trial of the card sort test. No significant changes were seen for the control group. Due to the fact that on average the participants in the VCT group cycled with a higher heart rate, our results suggest exercise that significantly elevates heart rate can improve cognitive function, specifically set-switching, in adolescents with Down syndrome.

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2015-05

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Before-school running-walking club: effects on physical activity and on-task behavior

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Background: Childhood obesity is one of the most serious public health concerns in the United States and has been associated with low levels of physical activity. Schools are ideal physical activity promotion sites but school physical activity opportunities have decreased

Background: Childhood obesity is one of the most serious public health concerns in the United States and has been associated with low levels of physical activity. Schools are ideal physical activity promotion sites but school physical activity opportunities have decreased due the increased focus on academic performance. Before-school programs provide a good opportunity for children to engage in physical activity as well as improve their readiness to learn. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of a before-school running/walking club on children's physical activity and on-task behavior. Methods: Participants were third and fourth grade children from two schools in the Southwestern United States who participated in a before-school running/walking club that met two times each week. The study employed a two-phase experimental design with an initial baseline phase and an alternating treatments phase. Physical activity was monitored using pedometers and on-task behavior was assessed through systematic observation. Data analysis included visual analysis, descriptive statistics, as well as multilevel modeling. Results: Children accumulated substantial amounts of physical activity within the before-school program (School A: 1731 steps, 10:02 MVPA minutes; School B: 1502 steps, 8:30 MVPA minutes) and, on average, did not compensate by decreasing their physical activity during the rest of the school day. Further, on-task behavior was significantly higher on days the children attended the before-school program than on days they did not (School A=15.78%, pseudo-R2=.34 [strong effect]; School B=14.26%, pseudo-R2=.22 [moderate effect]). Discussion: Results provide evidence for the positive impact of before-school programs on children's physical activity and on-task behavior. Such programs do not take time away from academics and may be an attractive option for schools.

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2014

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Examination of One Month Retention of Executive Function in Assisted Cycling Therapy on Adolescents with Down Syndrome

Description

This study examines the one month retention of executive function benefits gained by adolescents with Down syndrome after an 8-week aerobic exercise intervention. Sixteen participants were randomly divided between voluntary (VC) (i.e., self-selected cadence) and assisted (AC) (i.e., 30% faster

This study examines the one month retention of executive function benefits gained by adolescents with Down syndrome after an 8-week aerobic exercise intervention. Sixteen participants were randomly divided between voluntary (VC) (i.e., self-selected cadence) and assisted (AC) (i.e., 30% faster than self-selected cadence accomplished by a motor) cycling groups, with one participant used as a control (NC). Both cycling groups rode a stationary bicycle, for 30 minutes, three times a week, for eight weeks. At the beginning (i.e., pretest) and end (posttest) of the 8-week session, three executive functions including: set-switching, inhibition, and cognitive planning, were tested. Approximately one month after the posttest, all participants underwent the cognitive testing again. The results showed that for the AC group cognitive planning improved after eight weeks of assisted cycling and these improvements were maintained after one month of no cycling. However, no significant differences were found between the cycling groups for our measure of inhibition. Set-switching appeared to be improved by both types of exercise, rather than only assisted, but the improvements were not maintained during the one month retention period for either group. Thus, our results suggest that Assisted Cycling causes potentially permanent changes in the brain in regards to cognitive planning.

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2014-05

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Effects of an acute bout of aerobic exercise on motor performance, executive function and intrinsic motivation in adolescents and young adults with Down syndrome

Description

The benefits of exercise have been recommended in typical and other special populations. However, the evidence for persons with Down syndrome (DS) is still limited. This study was aimed at investigating the impact of an acute bout of aerobic exercise

The benefits of exercise have been recommended in typical and other special populations. However, the evidence for persons with Down syndrome (DS) is still limited. This study was aimed at investigating the impact of an acute bout of aerobic exercise intervention on motor performance, executive function and intrinsic motivation in adolescents and young adults with DS. Ten participants with DS were assigned to an exercise group, who walked on a incremental treadmill protocol for 20 minutes. The exercise intensity was achieved at 66% of their predicted maximum heart rate. Another ten participants with DS were assigned to an attentional control group, who watched a video for 20 minutes. Measures of fine manual dexterity (e.g., Purdue Pegboard test), manual force production (e.g., grip strength test), processing speed (e.g., visual choice reaction time test), verbal processing (e.g., verbal fluency test), attention shifting ability (e.g., The Dimensional Card sorting test), and inhibitory control (e.g., Knock and Tap test) were tested pre and post intervention. An intrinsic motivation scale (e.g., enjoyment and effort) was conducted after the intervention. First, results showed participants significantly improved their performance in manual force production and Knock and Tap Test after the exercise intervention. While it has been proposed that exercise increases arousal status, neurotransmitters, or cerebral vasculature, the exact mechanisms in persons with DS are still unknown. However, our results showed that after treadmill walking, motor and cognitive improvements can be found in individuals with DS, even in a single exercise session. In addition, participants reported higher scores in enjoyment after video viewing than exercise, which may a result from musical effect or too much emphasis on external rewards in their early participation in exercise. These may imply that participants had low intrinsic motivation to an active lifestyle. Further, scores in effort were significantly higher after exercise than video viewing, which indicated their capabilities to perceive their physical exertion. However, other motivational regulations (e.g., introjected and identified regulations) have shown the relationship with exercise behavior in this population. Thus, further study should consider divergent motivational factors in order to implement an effective exercise program.

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2013