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Neurorehabil Neural Repair. 2017 Aug;31(8):726-735. doi: 10.1177/1545968317718269. Epub 2017 Jul 8.

A Single Bout of High-Intensity Interval Training Improves Motor Skill Retention in Individuals With Stroke.

Author information

1
1 Memory and Motor Rehabilitation Laboratory (MEMORY-LAB).
2
3 Montreal Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation (CRIR), Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
3
4 Jewish General Hospital Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
4
5 McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
5
6 McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
6
2 Feil and Oberfeld Research Centre, Jewish Rehabilitation Hospital, Laval, Quebec, Canada.
7
7 School of Physical and Occupational Therapy, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
8
8 Department of Nutrition, Exercise & Sports, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.
9
9 Department of Neuroscience & Pharmacology, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.
10
10 University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

One bout of high-intensity cardiovascular exercise performed immediately after practicing a motor skill promotes changes in the neuroplasticity of the motor cortex and facilitates motor learning in nondisabled individuals.

OBJECTIVE:

To determine if a bout of exercise performed at high intensity is sufficient to induce neuroplastic changes and improve motor skill retention in patients with chronic stroke.

METHODS:

Twenty-two patients with different levels of motor impairment were recruited. On the first session, the effects of a maximal graded exercise test on corticospinal and intracortical excitability were assessed from the affected and unaffected primary motor cortex representational area of a hand muscle with transcranial magnetic stimulation. On the second session, participants were randomly assigned to an exercise or a nonexercise control group. Immediately after practicing a motor task, the exercise group performed 15 minutes of high-intensity interval training while the control group rested. Twenty-four hours after motor practice all participants completed a test of the motor task to assess skill retention.

RESULTS:

The graded exercise test reduced interhemispheric imbalances in GABAA-mediated short-interval intracortical inhibition but changes in other markers of excitability were not statistically significant. The group that performed high-intensity interval training showed a better retention of the motor skill.

CONCLUSIONS:

The performance of a maximal graded exercise test triggers only modest neuroplastic changes in patients with chronic stroke. However, a single bout of high-intensity interval training performed immediately after motor practice improves skill retention, which could potentially accelerate motor recovery in these individuals.

KEYWORDS:

cardiovascular exercise; memory; motor skill learning; neuronal plasticity; rehabilitation; stroke; transcranial magnetic stimulation

PMID:
28691645
DOI:
10.1177/1545968317718269
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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