The short-term effects of sedentary behaviour on cerebral hemodynamics and cognitive performance in older adults: A cross-over design on the potential impact of mental and/or physical activity
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SourceAlzheimer's Research & Therapy, 12, 1, (2020), article 76
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SW OZ DCC NRP
Alzheimer's Research & Therapy
SubjectAll institutes and research themes of the Radboud University Medical Center; Neuropsychology and rehabilitation psychology; Radboudumc 16: Vascular damage RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 18: Healthcare improvement science RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 1: Alzheimer`s disease DCMN: Donders Center for Medical Neuroscience; Neuro- en revalidatiepsychologie
Background: Sedentary behaviour might be a potential risk factor for cognitive decline. However, the short-term effects of sedentary behaviour on (cerebro) vascular and cognitive performance in older people are unknown. Methods: We used a cross-over design with 22 older adults (78 years, 9 females) to assess the short-term hemodynamic and cognitive effects of three hours uninterrupted sitting and explored if these effects can be counteracted with regular (every 30 min) two-minute walking breaks. In addition, we investigated if low versus high mental activity during the three hours of sitting modified these effects. Before and after each condition, alertness, executive functioning, and working memory were assessed with the Test of Attentional Performance battery. Additionally, cerebral blood flow velocity (Transcranial Doppler) and blood pressure (Finapres) were measured in rest, and during sit-to-stand and CO2 challenges to assess baroreflex sensitivity, cerebral autoregulation, and cerebral vasomotor reactivity. Results: No short-term differences were observed in cognitive performance, cerebral blood flow velocity, baroreflex sensitivity, cerebral autoregulation, or cerebral vasomotor reactivity across time, or between conditions. Blood pressure and cerebrovascular resistance increased over time (8.6 mmHg (5.0;12.1), p < 0.001), and 0.23 in resistance (0.01;0.45), p = 0.04). However, these effects were not mitigated by mental activity or by short walking breaks to interrupt sitting. Conclusions: In older individuals, three hours of sitting did not influence cognitive performance or cerebral perfusion. However, the sitting period increased blood pressure and cerebrovascular resistance, which are known to negatively impact brain health in the long-term. Importantly, we found that these effects in older individuals cannot be mitigated by higher mental activity and/or regular walking breaks. Trial registration: Clinical trial registration URL: https://www.toetsingonline.nl/. Unique identifier: NL64309.091.17. Date of registration: 06-02-2018.
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