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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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Home food environment and dietary intake: a 12-week intervention randomized control trial in south Phoenix adults

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Although many studies have looked into the relationship between home food availability and dietary intake, few have assessed actual change in the home food environment as a result of an intervention program. This secondary data analysis of the Athletes for

Although many studies have looked into the relationship between home food availability and dietary intake, few have assessed actual change in the home food environment as a result of an intervention program. This secondary data analysis of the Athletes for Life 3 (AFL3) program investigated the efficacy of a randomized controlled 12-week community-based, family-focused exercise and dietary behavior intervention program in improving the home food environment of families with children between the ages of 6 and 11 years old. A total of twenty-six adults from Phoenix, Arizona allowed research staff into their homes to assess variety of food availability, using a modified version of the Home Food Inventory and were randomized to either the AFL3 program or wait-list control group. The main outcomes of interest were change in availability of vegetables, fruits, sugar-sweetened beverages and desserts and WIC-approved breakfast cereal. There was a significant increase in the number of vegetable items (3.88 ± 0.85; p=0.006) and WIC-approved cereal items (1.16 ± 0.31; p=0.003) in the homes of the intervention participants, relative to the wait-list control group. Additionally, there was a significant decrease in the number of sugar-sweetened beverage items (1.18 ± 0.31; p=0.014) available in wait-list control participant homes. There were no other significant findings related to home food availability. Furthermore, dietary intake among adult participants did not significantly change as a result of change in home availability. In conclusion, the AFL3 intervention program was successful in eliciting small but significant changes at a household level related to vegetable and WIC-approved breakfast cereal availability.

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2016

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Application of methods in physical activity measurement

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It is broadly accepted that physical activity provides substantial health benefits. Despite strong evidence, approximately 60% to 95% of US adults are insufficiently active to obtain these health benefits. This dissertation explored five projects that examined the measurement properties and

It is broadly accepted that physical activity provides substantial health benefits. Despite strong evidence, approximately 60% to 95% of US adults are insufficiently active to obtain these health benefits. This dissertation explored five projects that examined the measurement properties and methodology for a variety of physical activity assessment methods. Project one identified validity evidence for the new MyWellness Key accelerometer in sixteen adults. The MyWellness Key demonstrated acceptable validity evidence when compared to a criterion accelerometer during graded treadmill walking and in free-living settings. This supports the use of the MyWellness Key accelerometer to measure physical activity. Project two evaluated validity (study 1) and test-retest reliability evidence (study 2) of the Global Physical Activity Questionnaire (GPAQ) in a two part study. The GPAQ was compared to direct and indirect criterion measures including object and subjective physical activity instruments. These data provided preliminary validity and reliability evidence for the GPAQ that support its use to assess physical activity. Project three investigated the optimal h.d-1 of accelerometer wear time needed to assess daily physical activity. Using a semi-simulation approach, data from 124 participants were used to compare 10-13 h.d-1 to the criterion 14 h.d-1. This study suggested that a minimum accelerometer wear time of 13 h.d-1 is needed to provide a valid measure of daily physical activity. Project four evaluated validity and reliability evidence of a novel method (Movement and Activity in Physical Space [MAPS] score) that combines accelerometer and GPS data to assess person-environment interactions. Seventy-five healthy adults wore an accelerometer and GPS receiver for three days to provide MAPS scores. This study provided evidence for use of a MAPS score for future research and clinical use. Project five used accelerometer data from 1,000 participants from the 2005-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Study. A semi-simulation approach was used to assess the effect of accelerometer wear time (10-14 h.d-1) on physical activity data. These data showed wearing for 12 h.d-1 or less may underestimate time spent in various intensities of physical activity.

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2011

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The effect of high-intensity interval exercise on postprandial endothelial function in youth

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In adults, consuming a high-fat meal can induce endothelial dysfunction while exercise may mitigate postprandial endothelial dysfunction. Whether exercise is protective against postprandial endothelial dysfunction in obese youth is unknown. The purpose of this study was to determine if high-intensity

In adults, consuming a high-fat meal can induce endothelial dysfunction while exercise may mitigate postprandial endothelial dysfunction. Whether exercise is protective against postprandial endothelial dysfunction in obese youth is unknown. The purpose of this study was to determine if high-intensity interval exercise (HIIE) performed the evening prior to a high-fat meal protects against postprandial endothelial dysfunction in obese adolescent males. Fourteen obese adolescent males (BMI%tile=98.5±0.6; 14.3±1.0yrs) completed the study. After initial screening, participants arrived, fasted at 9:00 in the morning where brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (FMD) was measured using duplex ultrasound after 20min of supine rest (7.0±3.0%) and completed a maximal exercise test on a cycle ergometer (VO2peak=2.6±0.5 L/min). Participants were randomized and completed 2 conditions: a morning high-fat meal challenge with evening prior HIIE (EX+M) or a morning high-fat meal challenge without prior exercise (MO). The EX+M condition included a single HIIE session on a cycle ergometer (8 X 2min at ≥90%HRmax, with 2min active recovery between bouts, 42min total) which was performed at 17:00 the evening prior to the meal challenge. In both conditions, a mixed-meal was tailored to participants body weight consisting of 0.7g of fat/kg of body weight consumed (889±95kcal; 65% Fat, 30% CHO). FMD was measured at fasting (>10hrs) and subsequently measured at 2hr and 4hr after high-fat meal consumption. Exercise did not improve fasting FMD (7.5±3.0 vs. 7.4±2.8%, P=0.927; EX+M and MO, respectively). Despite consuming a high-fat meal, FMD was not reduced at 2hr (8.4±3.4 vs. 7.6±3.9%; EX+M and MO, respectively) or 4hr (8.8±3.9 vs. 8.6±4.0%; EX+M and MO, respectively) in either condition and no differences were observed between condition (p(condition*time)=0.928). These observations remained after adjusting for baseline artery diameter and shear rate. We observed that HIIE, the evening prior, had no effect on fasting or postprandial endothelial function when compared with a meal only condition. Future research should examine whether exercise training may be able to improve postprandial endothelial function rather than a single acute bout in obese youth.

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2014

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An Examination of Socioecological Factors that Influence Preschool-aged Children's Cardiovascular Fitness and Gross Locomotor Skills within their Developmental Pathway

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Through three investigations, this dissertation examined properties of the family and early care and education center (ECEC) environments related to preschool-aged children’s cardiovascular fitness (CVF) and gross locomotor skills (GLS). Investigation one used a systematic review and meta-analysis to synthesize

Through three investigations, this dissertation examined properties of the family and early care and education center (ECEC) environments related to preschool-aged children’s cardiovascular fitness (CVF) and gross locomotor skills (GLS). Investigation one used a systematic review and meta-analysis to synthesize the effectiveness of school-based interventions at improving CVF, in preschool-aged children. For investigations two and three product- and process-based measures of GLS were collected from children in ECECs (n=16), using the progressive aerobic cardiovascular endurance run (PACER; n=144) and the CHAMPS motor skill protocol (CMSP; n=91), respectively. Investigation two and three examined family factors and ECEC factors for associations with measures of GLS, respectively.

Investigation one revealed a moderate-to-large effect size for school-based interventions (n=10) increasing CVF (g=0.75; 95%CI [0.40-1.11]). Multi-level interventions (g=.79 [0.34-1.25]) were more effective than interventions focused on the individual (g=0.67 [0.12-1.22]). In investigations two and three children (78.3% Hispanic; mean ± SD age 53.2±4.5 months) completed a mean ± SD 3.7±2.3 PACER laps and 19.0±5.5 CSMP criteria. Individual and family factors associated with PACER laps included child sex (B=-0.96, p=0.03) and age (B=0.17, p<0.01), parents’ promotion of inactivity (B=0.66, p=0.08) and screen time (B=0.65, p=0.05), and parents’ concern for child’s safety during physical activity (B=-0.36, p=0.09). Child age (B=0.47, p<0.01) and parent employment (B=2.29, p=0.07) were associated with CMSP criteria. At the ECEC level, policy environment quality (B=-0.17; p=0.01) was significantly associated with number of PACER laps completed. Outdoor play environment quality (B=0.18; p=0.03), outdoor play equipment total (B=0.32; p<0.01) and screen time environment quality (B=0.60; p=0.02) were significantly associated with CMSP criteria. Researchers, ECEC teachers and policy makers should promote positive environmental changes to preschool-aged children’s family and ECEC environments, as these environments have the potential to improve CVF and GLS more than programs focused on the child alone.

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2019