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J Alzheimers Dis Rep. 2018 Dec 24;2(1):229-238. doi: 10.3233/ADR-180079.

Effects of Six-Month Aerobic Exercise Intervention on Sleep in Healthy Older Adults in the Brain in Motion Study: A Pilot Study.

Guadagni V1,2,3,4, Clark CM1,2,3, Tyndall A1,2,3, Raneri JK5,6, Parboosingh JS7,8, Hogan DB2,5,3,4, Hanly PJ2,5,6, Poulin MJ1,2,3,9,4,10.

Author information

1
Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
2
Hotchkiss Brain Institute, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada.
3
Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada.
4
O'Brien Institute for Public Health, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada.
5
Department of Medicine, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada.
6
Sleep Centre, Foothills Medical Centre, Calgary, AB, Canada.
7
Department of Medical Genetics, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada.
8
Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute for Child and Maternal Health, Calgary, AB, Canada.
9
Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada.
10
Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada.

Abstract

Background:

Sleep disturbances have been shown to be associated with the presence of the apolipoprotein (APOE) ɛ4 allele, the well-known genetic risk factor for late-onset sporadic Alzheimer's disease (AD).

Objective:

This study quantifies the effects of a six-month aerobic exercise intervention on objective and subjective sleep quality in middle-aged to older individuals including those at increased genetic risk for late-onset sporadic Alzheimer's disease (AD), who carry the apolipoprotein (APOE) ɛ4 risk allele.

Methods:

199 sedentary men and women without significant cognitive impairments were enrolled in the Brain in Motion study, a quasi-experimental single group pre-test/post-test study with no control group. Participants completed a six-month aerobic exercise intervention and consented to genetic testing. Genotyping of APOE confirmed that 54 individuals were carriers of the ɛ4 allele. Participants' subjective quality of sleep was assessed with the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) pre- and post-intervention. A convenience sample of participants (n = 29, APOE ɛ4+ = 7) consented to undergo two nights of in-home polysomnography (PSG) pre- and post intervention. Sleep architecture and respiratory variables were assessed.

Results:

The six-month aerobic exercise intervention significantly improved participants' total PSQI score, sleep efficiency, and sleep latency in the full sample (n = 199). PSG results showed that total sleep time and sleep onset latency significantly improved over the course of the exercise intervention only in individuals who carried the APOE ɛ4 allele. These results are, however, exploratory and need to be carefully interpreted due to the rather small number of APOE ɛ4+ in the PSG subgroup.

Conclusions:

The six-month aerobic exercise intervention significantly improved participants' sleep quality with beneficial effects on PSG shown in individuals at increased genetic risk for late-onset sporadic AD.

KEYWORDS:

APOEɛ4; Alzheimer’s disease; dementia; polysomnography

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