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

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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

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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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

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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Stationary cycling did not improve reaction time in older adults with Down Syndrome

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The aim of this study was to examine the influence of Assisted Cycling Therapy (ACT) on information processing measured by simple reaction time in older adults with Down Syndrome (DS).

The aim of this study was to examine the influence of Assisted Cycling Therapy (ACT) on information processing measured by simple reaction time in older adults with Down Syndrome (DS). Twenty-one participants were randomly assigned to one of three interventions over eight weeks. 1) Eleven older adults with Down Syndrome completed the ACT intervention, which is stationary cycling with the assistance of a motor to maintain a cadence at least 35% greater than voluntary cycling. 2) Eight older adults with Down Syndrome completed the voluntary cycling (VC) intervention and 3) two older adults with Down Syndrome were in our no cycling (NC) intervention. Both exercise groups participated in the eight-week, supervised exercise protocol for at least three, 30-minute sessions per week. None of our results reached conventional levels of significance. However, the greatest improvements in reaction time occurred following the voluntary cycling (VC) intervention. Our results are discussed with respect to physiological differences in older adults with DS that may limit improvements in executive function following exercise. These physiological differences and limitations include muscle atrophy and reduced perceptions, age related latency between motor cortex activation and onset of muscle activity, as well as general age related slowing in reaction time. Although it may be difficult to improve executive function in older adults with DS, we suggest other benefits to exercise which include improving social communication, gross motor skills, and exercise perception. Future research should continue to investigate the effects of exercise on multiple areas in older adults with DS with the hopes of improving quality of life.

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  • 2018-05

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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

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