Long-term high-effort endurance exercise in older adults: diminishing returns for cognitive and brain aging

Young, Jeremy C, Dowell, Nicholas G, Watt, Peter W, Tabet, Naji and Rusted, Jennifer M (2016) Long-term high-effort endurance exercise in older adults: diminishing returns for cognitive and brain aging. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity. pp. 1-59. ISSN 1063-8652

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Abstract

While there is evidence that age-related changes in cognitive performance and brain structure can be offset by increased exercise, little is known about the impact on these of long-term high-effort endurance exercise. In a cross-sectional design with 12-month follow-up, we recruited older adults engaging in high-effort endurance exercise over at least twenty years, and compared their cognitive performance and brain structure with a non-sedentary control group similar in age, sex, education, IQ, and lifestyle factors. Our findings showed no differences on measures of speed of processing, executive function, incidental memory, episodic memory, working memory, or visual search for older adults participating in long-term high-effort endurance exercise, when compared without confounds to non-sedentary peers. On tasks that engaged significant attentional control, subtle differences emerged. On indices of brain structure, long-term exercisers displayed higher white matter axial diffusivity than their age-matched peers, but this did not correlate with indices of cognitive performance.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Exercise, Aging, Cognition, MRI, Effort
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Neuroscience
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF0176 Psychological tests and testing
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF0309 Consciousness. Cognition Including learning, attention, comprehension, memory, imagination, genius, intelligence, thought and thinking, psycholinguistics, mental fatigue
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF0501 Motivation
Depositing User: Jeremy Young
Date Deposited: 14 Apr 2016 11:15
Last Modified: 11 Sep 2017 19:36
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/60403

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