Effects of Short-Term Exercise and Exercise Training on Cognitive Function Among Patients With Cardiac Disease

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PURPOSEA number of studies have investigated the effect of physical activity on cognitive performance in healthy subjects although no consensus in results has been established. In patients with cardiac disease that has been associated with cognitive impairment, research regarding improvement in cognition function assumes a clinical interest. We assessed the effect of both acute exercise and aerobic training on cognitive function in patients with coronary artery disease and heart failure who participated in cardiac rehabilitation (CR).METHODSTwenty-four men (mean age = 51.6 ± 6.5 years) completed 2 experimental sessions, before (S1) and after exercise training (S2). During each session, participants underwent cognitive evaluations at rest and during exercise on a cycloergometer at 30% of maximal power. Two types of evaluations were used, an exclusively cognitive test (COG, such as arithmetic test, memory test) and a tracking task (TRAC) including motor precision.RESULTSAt S1, no significant difference appeared between rest and acute exercise for COG score (31.5 ± 9.5 vs 32.2 ± 10.5; ns). In contrast, acute exercise significantly improved TRAC performance (149 ± 54 vs 140 ± 44; P < .05). At S2, COG score improved with exercise (35.5 ± 10.6 vs 40 ± 10.8; P ≤ .001) but TRAC score remained unchanged (138 ± 50 vs 134 ± 42; ns). Concerning the impact of exercise (Δ%), a significant difference was observed for COG (0.03 [−0.03 to 0.11] vs 0.14 [−0.01 to 0.24]; P < .05), before and after training, respectively, but not for TRAC.CONCLUSIONSLimited data are available concerning the effect of acute exercise and exercise training on cognitive function in patients with cardiac disease. This study provides evidence for the importance of CR in improving cognitive function.

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