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J Am Geriatr Soc. 1993 May;41(5):531-4.

Acute exercise facilitates semantically cued memory in nursing home residents.

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1
Gerontology Centre, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, Canada.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To study the acute effects of non-strenuous physical exercise on memory retrieval and visuo-motor performance in old-old nursing home residents.

DESIGN:

A randomized control trial.

SETTING:

A nursing home.

PARTICIPANTS:

Ambulatory volunteers from the nursing home, with all 20 shown to be normal on mental status. Three were male and 17 female, with a means of 84.5 years for age and 9.3 years for education. They were divided at random into an exercise and a control group.

INTERVENTION:

A single 15-minute standardized bout of non-strenuous exercise administered independently to each participant in the exercise group. Control group participants watched a video of similar exercises for 15 minutes.

MEASUREMENTS:

Two measures requiring the retrieval of category instances with semantic or initial consonant cues. Retrieval time was 60 seconds for each of four categories per measure. Visuo-motor performance was measured by Symbol Digit coding. Testing sessions were held before exercise, immediately post-exercise and 30 minutes post-exercise.

RESULTS:

The group-by-time interaction was significant only for semantically cued memory (P < 0.01), with higher retrieval at post-testing only in the exercised group. The higher retrieval was mainly attributable to more new items retrieved by the exercise group at the immediate post-test (P < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS:

This study provides preliminary support for the hypothesis that non-strenuous physical exercise has positive acute effects on meaningfully cued memory.

PMID:
8486887
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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