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A systematic review of the effect of physical activity on cognitive performance in youth with Down syndrome

Vincenzo G. Nocera, MS, Angela J. Wozencroft, PhD, Dawn P. Coe, PhD, FACSM

Abstract


This systematic review of the literature examined the impact of physical activity on cognitive performance in youth with Down syndrome (DS). A comprehensive search resulted in the identification of 20 articles that were screened with five studies included in the qualitative analysis. In the studies analyzed, both acute and chronic moderate intensity physical activity protocols were utilized as well as a variety of cognitive assessments evaluating different components of cognitive function (ie, reaction time, inhibition, planning, working memory, and manual dexterity). Overall, this review found a positive relationship between acute and chronic physical activity and cognitive function. These relationships are consistent with the literature in typically developing youth. The findings of this review show promising results that consistent participation in moderate levels of physical activity may lead to higher levels of cognition function in youth with DS. Practical implications and future research are discussed in the article.


Keywords


Down syndrome, physical activity, cognition, moderate, pediatric

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5055/ajrt.2018.0172

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