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Contributing to a meta-analysis on the effects of acute physical exercise on the executive functions of preadolescent children, adolescents and adults

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The purpose of this study, originally, was to contribute to the completion of a meta-analysis conducted by Mara Wierstra from the University of Virginia. Wierstra had requested individual participant data from two separate studies conducted in our lab: "Acute bouts

The purpose of this study, originally, was to contribute to the completion of a meta-analysis conducted by Mara Wierstra from the University of Virginia. Wierstra had requested individual participant data from two separate studies conducted in our lab: "Acute bouts of assisted cycling improves cognitive and upper extremity movement functions in adolescents with Down syndrome" and "Assisted Cycling Therapy (ACT) improves inhibition in adolescents with autism spectrum disorder." From the data requested, the participants were required to complete three separate tests (i.e., Tower of London, Trail Making Task and the Stroop Test). After compiling the data and sending it to her, we decided to conduct a small meta-analysis of our own, drawing connecting conclusions from the data from the two studies. We concluded that observationally our data suggest an advantage for ACT over voluntary cycling and no cycling across two separate populations (i.e., Autism Spectrum Disorder and Down syndrome), and across different measures of executive function (i.e., Stroop Test, Trail Making Test, and Tower of London). The data suggest that the ACT interventions may promote the upregulation of neurotropic factors leading to neurogenesis in the prefrontal cortex of the brain.

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2016-12

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Walking Intervention Through Texting for Adolescents

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It is well established that physical activity (PA) directly correlates with many health benefits, especially when active habits are formed during childhood and adolescence. PA practiced in adolescence has been seen to carry into adulthood, helping to combat a host

It is well established that physical activity (PA) directly correlates with many health benefits, especially when active habits are formed during childhood and adolescence. PA practiced in adolescence has been seen to carry into adulthood, helping to combat a host of chronic diseases, such as obesity and diabetes. However, in recent years there has been a steady decline in PA among adolescents, followed by a resulting rise in sedentary behavior. Walking Intervention Through Texting for Adolescents, or WalkIT-A, was an 11.5-week intervention that built upon behavioral theory to provide an incentive-based, adaptive, physical activity intervention to inactive adolescents. The goal of this study was to investigate an intervention which combined walking with pointed behavior change strategies to incite a larger increase in PA. Using single-case, reversal (ABA) design, the study was aimed at shaping physical activity behavior in adolescents aged 12-17 through a mobile health intervention that paired adaptive goal setting with financial incentives to increase step count. The intervention was delivered using a semi-automated texting, mobile-Health (mHealth) platform, which incorporated FitBit tracking technology, adaptive goals, motivational messages, performance feedback, and points/incentives. It was hypothesized that during the adaptive intervention phase participants would increase both steps per day and active minutes compared to baseline values. Upon conclusion of the study, the three adolescent participants exhibited increased steps and active minutes during the intervention period compared to baseline and withdrawal phases. However, the specific trends identified suggest the need for future research to incorporate even stronger intervention components to overcome PA "drop-off" midway through the intervention, along with other external, environmental influencers. Despite this need, the use of adaptive goal setting combined with incentives can be an effective means to incite PA behavior change in adolescents.

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2016-12

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Assisted Cycling Therapy Improves Functional Exercise Capacity in Adolescents with Down Syndrome

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This study examined the effect of an 8-week exercise intervention on functional exercise capacity in adolescents with Down syndrome (DS). Forty participants were randomly assigned to one of three groups: assisted cycling (ACT) (n = 17) where participants experienced at

This study examined the effect of an 8-week exercise intervention on functional exercise capacity in adolescents with Down syndrome (DS). Forty participants were randomly assigned to one of three groups: assisted cycling (ACT) (n = 17) where participants experienced at least a 35% increase in their voluntary cycling speed through the use of a motor, voluntary cycling (VC) (n = 15) where participants cycled at a self-selected cadence, and no cycling (NC) (n = 8) where participants did not participate in any cycling intervention. In each cycling intervention, each participant completed three, 30 minute cycling sessions per week for a total of eight weeks. The Six-Minute Walk Test (6MWT) was administered prior to and after the 8-week intervention in pre-test and post-test assessment sessions, respectively. Our hypothesis was somewhat supported in that functional exercise capacity improved after ACT as measured by an increase in total number of laps walked, total distance walked, and average walking speed during the 6MWT, when compared to VC or NC.

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2015-05

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Cycle Therapy improves body fat in Adolescents with Down Syndrome

Description

The purpose of our study was to examine the effectiveness of a cycling intervention on body composition in adolescents with Down syndrome (DS). Participants completed one of three interventions over eight consecutive weeks. The interventions were: 1) Voluntary Cycling (VC),

The purpose of our study was to examine the effectiveness of a cycling intervention on body composition in adolescents with Down syndrome (DS). Participants completed one of three interventions over eight consecutive weeks. The interventions were: 1) Voluntary Cycling (VC), in which participants cycled at their self-selected pedaling rate 2) Assisted Cycling (AC), in which the participants' voluntary pedaling rates were assisted with a motor to ensure the maintenance of 80 rpms. 3) No cycling (NC), in which the participants acted as controls. Participants in the AC intervention did not decrease body fat or increase lean body mass however they did maintain these measures during the intervention as compared to the VC and NO participants who increased body fat and decreased lean body mass. These statistics were not exactly as expected nor were they statistically significant. Future research will try to replicate this data with statistically significant values for more cycling adolescents with DS using more randomized intervention groups.

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2015-05

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Effects of a Lifestyle Intervention on Diabetes Risk in Latino Youth

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Background: The prevalence of childhood obesity has disproportionately affected Latino youth. This increase in obesity is seen with an increased incidence of Type 2 Diabetes. Objective/Hypothesis: The objective of this study was to determine the effects of a community based

Background: The prevalence of childhood obesity has disproportionately affected Latino youth. This increase in obesity is seen with an increased incidence of Type 2 Diabetes. Objective/Hypothesis: The objective of this study was to determine the effects of a community based lifestyle intervention, which encompassed nutrition education and physical activity, on diabetes risk in pre-diabetic Latino adolescents. Diabetes risk was assessed using pancreatic beta cell function as measured by proinsulin: insulin ratio. It was hypothesized that reductions in added sugar intake and reductions in saturated fat intake will be associated with improved beta cell function as measured by proinsulin: insulin ratio. Study Design/Participants: In this quasi-experimental study design, n=17 pre-diabetic Latino adolescents between the ages of 14-16 participated in a lifestyle intervention. Methods: Anthropometric measurements (weight, height, waist circumference, BMI) and body composition (body %) were determined for all participants at baseline and post intervention. Fasting proinsulin (PI), fasting insulin (I) and 2hr-OGTT were also determined. Dietary intake was measured using the Block Kids Food Screener for kids ages 2-17y (2007). The intervention consisted of nutrition education classes and physical activity sessions for 12 weeks. Results: We found significant decreases in body fat % following the intervention. There were no significant decreases in fasting insulin. Proinsulin significantly decreased. However we did no see a significant change in PI/I (p= 0.003). Dietary behaviors of added sugar (p=0.03) and saturated fat (p=0.04) showed significant decreases. No significant associations were found between changes in added sugar to improvements in beta cell function, r=0.072, p-value= 0.7. We also did not observe significant associations between reductions in saturated fat intake and improvements in beta cell function, r=0.152, p-value =0.6. Conclusions: We concluded that a 12-week lifestyle intervention resulted in significant changes in dietary behaviors. These changes were not however associated with improvements in beta cell function.

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2015-05

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An Adaptive Physical Activity Intervention for Inactive Adolescents: A Single Case Design

Description

An increasingly sedentary population in the United States, specifically with adolescents, is putting youth at risk of future health related trauma and disease. This single-case design study, Walking Intervention Through Text Messaging for Adolescents (WalkIT-A), was used to intervene with

An increasingly sedentary population in the United States, specifically with adolescents, is putting youth at risk of future health related trauma and disease. This single-case design study, Walking Intervention Through Text Messaging for Adolescents (WalkIT-A), was used to intervene with a 12-year old, physically inactive male, in an attempt to test the efficacy of a 12-week physical activity program that may help reduce health risks by increasing number of steps walked per day. The components of the intervention consisted of a FitBit Zip pedometer, physical activity education, text messages, monetary incentives, and goal setting that adapted personally to the participant. Mean step count increased by 30% from baseline (mean = 3603 [sd = 1983]) to intervention (mean = 4693 [sd = 2112]); then increased slightly by 6.7% from intervention to withdrawal (mean = 5009 [sd = 2152]). Mean "very active minutes" increased by 45% from baseline (mean = 8.8 [sd = 8.9]) to intervention (mean = 12.8 [sd = 9.6]); then increased by 61.7% from intervention to withdrawal (mean = 20.7 [sd = 8.4]). Weight, BMI, and blood pressure all increased modestly from pre to post. Cardiovascular fitness (estimated VO2 max) improved by 12.5% from pre (25.5ml*kg-1*min-1) to post (28.7ml*kg-1*min-1). The intervention appeared to have a delayed and residual effect on the participant's daily steps and very active minutes. Although the idealistic ABA pattern did not occur, and the participant did not meet the target of 11,500 daily steps, a positive trend toward that target behavior in the latter 1/3rd of the intervention was observed. Results suggest the need for an extended intervention over a longer period of time and customized even further to the participant.

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2014-12

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Effects of a 12-week Lifestyle Intervention on Self-efficacy, Social Support, and Physical Activity in Obese Latino Adolescents

Description

Background: The prevalence of childhood obesity has disproportionately affected Latino youth and can be seen with an increase incidence of Type 2 Diabetes. This increase in obesity can be attributed to physical inactivity. Increases in social support and self-efficacy are

Background: The prevalence of childhood obesity has disproportionately affected Latino youth and can be seen with an increase incidence of Type 2 Diabetes. This increase in obesity can be attributed to physical inactivity. Increases in social support and self-efficacy are independently related to increases in physical activity. A lifestyle intervention can lead to increases in social support, self-efficacy and physical activity. Objective/Hypothesis: The objective of this study was to determine whether a 12-week lifestyle intervention could increase social support, self-efficacy and physical activity in obese Latino adolescents that participated in the intervention. It was hypothesized that adolescents that participated in the intervention would increase self-efficacy, social support from family and friends, and physical activity compared to their control counterparts. Study Design/Participants: In a randomized control trial, there were 125 Latino (n= 60 experimental group; n= 65 control group; mean age = 15.17 +- 1.65 Males n = 60; n = 65 females) participants included in this study. Participants were also required to have a BMI percentile >= 95th percentile for age and gender or BMI >= 30 kg/m2. Methods: The intervention, which was developed using the Social Cognitive Theory had components focusing on social support and self-efficacy and also consisted of nutrition education classes and physical activity sessions for 12 weeks. The psychosocial constructs of self-efficacy and social support were measured using the Adolescent Self-Efficacy for Diet and Activity Behaviors and Adolescent Social Support for Diet and Exercise Survey, respectively. Physical activity was assessed by the 3-day Physical Activity Recall. Results: We found significant increases in social support in family (p = 0.042) and vigorous physical activity (p = 0.001). There was also a significant difference between control and treatment group for moderate to vigorous physical activity after the intervention (p = 0.027). There were no changes in social support from friends or self-efficacy. Conclusion: We concluded that a 12-week lifestyle intervention did lead to changes in social support and physical activity behaviors. These changes could have been influenced by the intervention as they were measured these constructs pre/post intervention.

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Date Created
2016-05

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Evaluation of inflammatory responses and tissue triglyceride concentrations following high fat intake in developing rodents

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High fat diets (HFD) are known to cause hepatic non-alcoholic steatosis in rats in as few as four weeks. Accumulation of triglycerides in liver and skeletal muscle is associated with insulin resistance and obesity. However, studies of fat accumulation in

High fat diets (HFD) are known to cause hepatic non-alcoholic steatosis in rats in as few as four weeks. Accumulation of triglycerides in liver and skeletal muscle is associated with insulin resistance and obesity. However, studies of fat accumulation in cardiac muscle are not as prevalent. Therefore, the first hypothesis of this study was that HFD would lead to hepatic steatosis as well as lipid accumulation in pectoralis and cardiac muscles, tissues responsible for the majority of postprandial glucose disposal. Prior studies also indicated that HFD leads to increased inflammation and oxidative stress within the vasculature resulting in impaired endothelium-dependent vasodilation, however biomarkers of immune system reactivity were not assessed. Therefore, the second aim of this study was to explore additional pathways of immune system reactivity and stress (natural antibodies; heat shock protein 60 (HSP60)) in rats fed either a control (chow) or high fat (HFD) diet. HSP60 has also recently been recognized as an early marker of vascular dysfunction in humans. The hypothesis was that immune system reactivity and early vascular dysfunction would be heightened in rats fed a HFD compared to chow-fed controls. Young male Sprague-Dawley rats (140-160g) were maintained on a chow diet (5% fat, 57.33% carbohydrate, 3.4kcal/g) or HFD (60% fat, 20% carbohydrate, 5.24 kcal/g) for 6 weeks. HFD rats developed hepatic steatosis with significantly elevated liver triglyceride concentrations compared to chow-fed controls (20.73±2.09 vs.9.75±0.52 mg triglycerides/g tissue, respectively; p=0.001). While lipid accumulation appeared to be evident in the pectoralis muscle from HFD rats, triglyceride concentrations were not significantly different from controls. Likewise, there was no evidence of lipid infiltration in cardiac muscles of HFD rats. Lipid accumulation in the liver of overweight HFD rats may contribute to the observed insulin resistance in these animals. Contrary to the second hypothesis, there were no significant differences in plasma HSP60 expression between HFD and chow rats (p>0.05). Likewise, hemagglutination and hemolysis responses were similar between HFD and chow-fed rats (p>0.05). These findings suggest that immune system responses may not be affected by 6 weeks of high fat intake and that HSP60 is not an early marker of vascular dysfunction in this rodent model.

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Date Created
2013-05

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Assisted Cycling Therapy (ACT) Improves Depression in Adolescents with Down Syndrome

Description

The purpose of the study was to examine the effectiveness of two modes of exercise on depression in adolescents with Down syndrome (DS). Twelve participants randomly completed one of two exercise interventions. The interventions were: 1) Voluntary Cycling (VC), in

The purpose of the study was to examine the effectiveness of two modes of exercise on depression in adolescents with Down syndrome (DS). Twelve participants randomly completed one of two exercise interventions. The interventions were: 1) Voluntary Cycling (VC), in which participants cycled at their self-selected pedaling rate 2) Assisted Cycling (AC), in which the participants' voluntary pedaling rates were augmented with a motor to ensure the maintenance of 80 rpms. In each intervention, the participant completed three cycling sessions each week for a total of eight weeks. Depression scores did decrease or improved after both AC and VC, but not significantly. There was a greater mean improvement for participants in the AC group than VC when analyzing total score and t-score. Future research will include a greater sample size and control group to reach significant results as well as try and reveal the mechanisms involved in these mental health improvements found after an acute bout of assisted cycling in adolescents with DS.

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Date Created
2013-12