The association between a single bout of moderate physical activity and executive function in young adults with Down syndrome: A preliminary study

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11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: This study was aimed at investigating the impact of a single exercise intervention on executive function in young adults with Down syndrome (DS). Methods: Considering the relations among executive function, physical and mental health and early onset of Alzheimer's disease in this population, we tested three components of executive function (e.g. choice-response time, attention shifting and inhibition) that have been shown to be impaired in previous studies. Ten persons with DS were assigned to an exercise group, who walked on a treadmill for 20min at moderate intensity and ten additional persons with DS were assigned to an attentional control group, who watched a video. Measures of executive function were tested pre and post interventions. Results: These results showed non-significant improvements in choice-response time (P=0.32) and attention shifting (P=0.13) but a statistically significant improvement in inhibition (P=0.03) after the exercise intervention. Conclusions: Given the improved inhibition ability, exercise may be an effective intervention, even in a signal session. However, only a few studies have focused on this topic. Based on theoretical models linking exercise to executive function, we proposed that exercise may increase arousal status or enhance neural transmission. Hence, future work is needed to examine the exact mechanism in the relationship between exercise and executive function for individuals with DS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)589-598
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Intellectual Disability Research
Volume59
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015

Keywords

  • Cognition
  • Down syndrome
  • Executive function
  • Physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Rehabilitation
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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