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J Autism Dev Disord. 2016 Sep;46(9):3126-43. doi: 10.1007/s10803-016-2854-x.

A Meta-Analytic Review of the Efficacy of Physical Exercise Interventions on Cognition in Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and ADHD.

Author information

1
School of Arts and Humanities, Edith Cowan University, 270 Joondalup Drive, Joondalup, WA, 6027, Australia. b.tan@ecu.edu.au.
2
School of Arts and Humanities, Edith Cowan University, 270 Joondalup Drive, Joondalup, WA, 6027, Australia.

Abstract

This review evaluates the efficacy of using physical exercise interventions on improving cognitive functions in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and/or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This review includes a meta-analysis based on a random-effects model of data reported in 22 studies with 579 participants aged 3-25 year old. The results revealed an overall small to medium effect of exercise on cognition, supporting the efficacy of exercise interventions in enhancing certain aspects of cognitive performance in individuals with ASD and/or ADHD. Specifically, similar to the general population literature, the cognitive benefits of exercise are not consistent across all aspects of cognitive functions (i.e., some areas are not improved). The clinical significance of the reported effect sizes is also considered.

KEYWORDS:

ADHD; Autism; Cognition; Exercise intervention; Meta-analysis

PMID:
27412579
DOI:
10.1007/s10803-016-2854-x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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