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Cognitive Planning Improved after Cycling Exercise in Older Adults with Down Syndrome

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Executive function is a crucial part of daily living and activities for individuals with Down Syndrome (DS). The aim of this study was to examine if Assisted Cycle Therapy (ACT) would improve cognitive planning as measured by the Tower of

Executive function is a crucial part of daily living and activities for individuals with Down Syndrome (DS). The aim of this study was to examine if Assisted Cycle Therapy (ACT) would improve cognitive planning as measured by the Tower of London (TOL), set switching as measured by the modified Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, and spatial memory as measured by the Corsi Block Test in older adults with DS. Twenty-six participants were randomly assigned to one of three interventions over eight weeks. 1) Thirteen older adults with DS 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) Eleven older adults with DS completed voluntary cycling (VC) and 3) Two older adults with DS were in our no cycling intervention. There were tests administered a week prior to the invention (or no intervention) and one week after their completed intervention (or no intervention). The pre- and post-tests were used to assess different measures, which could have been influenced from the eight-week intervention. The measures analyzed from our study were as followed; Tower of London, Card Sorting Test, and the Corsi Block Test. Our results showed that cognitive planning improved after ACT and VC, but not NC. Cognitive planning was assessed through the TOL task and showed improvements after the eight-week intervention (due to its sensitive nature in analyzing smaller changes pre- and post-intervention). Our results are discussed with respect to upregulation of neurotrophic factors that increase functioning in the prefrontal cortex that accompanies exercise.

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Date Created
2017-12