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Assisted Cycling Improves Cognitive and Motor Functioning in Adolescents with Down Syndrome

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This study examines cognitive and motor function in adolescents with Down syndrome (DS) following an 8-week assisted cycling therapy intervention. Forty-four participants were randomly assigned to three groups consisting of an assisted cycling (AC) (i.e., exercise accomplished through the use

This study examines cognitive and motor function in adolescents with Down syndrome (DS) following an 8-week assisted cycling therapy intervention. Forty-four participants were randomly assigned to three groups consisting of an assisted cycling (AC) (i.e., exercise accomplished through the use of a motor), a voluntary cycling (VC) (self-selected cadence), and a no cycling (NC) control group. Both ACT and VC groups rode a stationary bicycle for three 30-minute sessions a week, for a total of eight weeks. Participants completed cognitive testing that assessed information processing and manual dexterity at the beginning and at the end of the 8-week intervention. Consistent with our hypothesis, the results showed that information processing and manual dexterity improved following 8 weeks of cycling for the ACT group. These results were not seen for individuals in the voluntary and non-exercise 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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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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Grip Strength and How it Relates to the Functional Disabilities in Persons with Down Syndrome

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The aim of this study is to understand the affects of grip strength and manual dexterity in activities of daily living (ADL) in persons with Down syndrome (DS). This is important because it could help with future interventions that are

The aim of this study is to understand the affects of grip strength and manual dexterity in activities of daily living (ADL) in persons with Down syndrome (DS). This is important because it could help with future interventions that are focused around improving related disadvantages in this particular population. Ten participants with DS performed the manual dexterity tests (i.e., Purdue Pegboard) and measured their grip strength with a hydraulic dynamometer. Overall, grip strength was lower than the average for the typical population and was reduced after aeorbic exercise. Improvements, however, were found in their manual dexterity from pre-test to post-test. This indicates that the assisted moderate intensity exercise intervention helped their dexterity performance. The improvements in dexterity are consistent with previous research conducted by Ringenbach et al. (2007). These results suggest that a moderate intensity treadmill walking exercise intervention can increase precision and efficiency in dexterity in persons with Down syndrome, however their grip force production may be stimulated by another means.

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2012-12

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

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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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2013-12