Category

neurology

Category
Physical inactivity is a known risk factor for stroke. The interaction between exercise and risk of stroke is complex. Physical activity has a beneficial effect on most risk factors for stroke, which may show reciprocal potentiation (e.g. obesity, sleep apnea, atrial fibrillation). Advice on physical activity is of importance in primary prevention of stroke. Hereby, type, amount and intensity of physical activity may be distinguished and adjusted according to comorbidities (e.g. in case of heart failure).
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There is a continuous increase in dementia partly due to increasing life-expectance. Currently there are no causal therapies for dementia, neither for dementias with vascular etiology nor for neurodegenerative dementias such as Alzheimer’s disease. Main risk factors for the development of dementia are low physical activity, hypertonia and diabetes mellitus. Physical activity has shown to exert beneficial effects on cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors und is closely connected with cognitive disturbance and the development and the course of dementia. Therefore, the implementation of physical activity in preventive and therapeutic strategies of dementia is recom­mended.
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After having a stroke the main challenges are reducing the risk of recurrent stroke, improving impaired brain function, quality of life, independence in activities of daily living and reintegration into the community. [1] Lesion-induced impairment of brain function also has, besides its effects on e.g. motor, sensory, visual and speech function, an influence on e.g. cognition and mood, all of which are determinants of post-stroke physical activity. The evidence for a benefit of physical activity in secondary stroke prevention is increasing and treatment strategies aimed at factors which are limiting physical activity are more and more recognized.
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Gait impairments in simultaneous motor-cognitive tasks have been well documented in neurodegenerative disease populations, including Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. The consequences of these gait impairments in patient populations include an increased fall risk, sedentariness, functional decreases, decreases in self-efficacy, and overall reduced quality of life. Therefore, improving gait performance in dual-task situations is becoming an important focus of rehabilitation for people with neurological disorders.
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Strategies to improve cognitive aging are highly needed. Among those, promotion of exercise and physical activity appears as one of the most attractive and beneficial intervention. Indeed, results from basic and clinical studies suggest that exercise and physical activity have positive effects on cognition in older persons without cognitive impairment, as well as in those with dementia. Despite inconsistent results, aerobic exercise appears to have the strongest potential to enhance cognition. However, even limited periods of walking (45 minutes, three times a week, over a 6-month period) have also been shown to enhance cognition, particularly executive functions.
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Due to methodological and technical challenges brain cortical activity has rarely been investigated during endurance exercise. In this respect, it is not surprising that effects of an acute bout of interval training on central nervous activity have not been examined yet. Therefore, the aim of the present investigation was to characterize acute adaptations of brain cortical activity and established parameters to a high intensity endurance session. In a laboratory study sixteen endurance-trained cyclists completed an exercise bout including 3 interval series on a high-performance bicycle ergometer. Changes in cortical activity were recorded with quantitative electroencephalography (EEG) and analyzed in five specific frequency ranges (theta, alpha-1, alpha-2, beta-1, beta-2).
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As a consequence of the demographically related increase of dementia prevalence, modifiable risk factors are gaining in importance as possible preventative measures. Medical treatment cannot yet heal dementia. The effects of vascular risk factors as well as behaviour and lifestyle changes on cognitive decline are the subject of a wide range of current literature. The role of physical activity has proved to be especially beneficial. Multiple studies with different study designs describe direct or indirect positive effects of physical activity on cognitive abilities. The positive effects of physical activity are particularly notable in cognitive domains such as attention or executive functions, which are often impaired in dementia.
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