Comparing exercise interventions and how they affect cognition in older adults
LE3 .A278 2018
Bachelor of Kinesiology
As Canada’s aging population rises, there is a higher prevalence of chronic conditions and other age related diseases. With a larger amount of the population being 55 years or older and with more people going through ‘unhealthy aging’ that consists of poor diets and increased sedentary lifestyle, health care costs are increasing. Cognitive decline is a major concern for health care spending as there is a high prevalence of it among the aging population. A cost effective intervention is needed in order to prevent or slow the associated cognitive decline that comes with age, thus attempting to lift some of the economic stress being placed on the health care system. Exercise has been found to be an effective intervention for improving various physiological functions such as increased cardiorespiratory fitness as well as musculoskeletal fitness. Exercise has also been found to have a positive effect on cognition. Previous research has determined that executive functioning is one of the first cognitive processes to decline with age, however it is one of the first ones to improve through exercise. Aerobic training (AT) and resistance training (RT) are common exercise interventions that are used for various physical and cognitive benefits, however the literature has yet to determine which one is better for improving cognition in older adults. The mechanisms for how AT and RT affect cognition are poorly understood. Brain structure, and molecular changes have been commonly investigated for possible mechanisms behind altered cognition with exercise, however more research is needed on cerebral oxygenation and how it affects the efficiency of the brain in older adults
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