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J Neural Transm. 2008 Dec;115(12):1643-50. doi: 10.1007/s00702-008-0120-x. Epub 2008 Sep 16.

The exercise redox paradigm in the Down's syndrome: improvements in motor function and increases in blood oxidative status in young adults.

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  • 1Departamento de Farmacologia, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Campus Trindade, Florianópolis, SC, 88049-900, Brazil.


Considerable evidence has indicated a pro-oxidant status in the brain of people with Down's syndrome (DS), which may contribute to motor and cognitive impairments verified in this condition. On the other hand, previous studies addressing the role of physical exercise on oxidative stress and antioxidant status in DS have indicated conflicting results. Here, we investigated the effects of a supervised judo training of controlled intensity and monitored on the basis of lactate threshold on the blood oxidative stress status and motor coordination in 21 young adults with DS. The training extended over a period of 16 weeks and consisted of three sessions per week. The exercise improved the motor function and significantly decreased lactate production in the DS subjects. However, blood markers of oxidative damage to lipids (TBARS and lipid peroxides) and proteins (carbonyls) were increased by the judo training. Moreover, superoxide dismutase and catalase activity also increased, while glutathione peroxidase activity remained unaltered after exercise. These results reinforce the notion that physical exercise can improve motor disabilities in people with DS. More importantly, our findings demonstrate that the beneficial effects are accompanied by some degree of oxidative stress, suggesting that young adults with DS may be more susceptible to physical training-induced oxidative stress than adolescents with DS, which should be taken into account in physical training programs for this population.

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