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Arthur F. Kramer, Sowon Hahn, and Edward McAuley

The article provides a brief review of the literature on the relationship between aerobic Fitness and neurocognitive function, particularly as it relates to older adults. Cross-sectional studies provide strong support for the beneficial influence of fitness on neurocognitive function. The longitudinal or interventional literature, however, provides more equivocal support for this relationship. In discussing the literature, the authors introduce a new hypothesis, the executive control/fitness hypothesis, which suggests that selective neurocognitive benefits will be observed with improvements in aerobic fitness; that is, executive control processes that include planning, scheduling, task coordination, inhibition, and working memory will benefit from enhanced fitness. Preliminary evidence for this hypothesis is discussed.

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Ke’La Porter, Carolina Quintana, and Matthew Hoch

Clinical Scenario Poor neurocognitive performance may be a risk factor for lower-extremity musculoskeletal injury risk. Previous research has identified poorer baseline neurocognitive function in college athletes who sustained anterior cruciate ligament injuries during an athletic season. 1

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Enda F. Whyte, Nicola Gibbons, Grainne Kerr, and Kieran A. Moran

Context: Determination of return to play (RTP) after sport-related concussion (SRC) is critical given the potential consequences of premature RTP. Current RTP guidelines may not identify persistent exercise-induced neurocognitive deficits in asymptomatic athletes after SRC. Therefore, postexercise neurocognitive testing has been recommended to further inform RTP determination. To implement this recommendation, the effect of exercise on neurocognitive function in healthy athletes should be understood. Objective: To examine the acute effects of a high-intensity intermittent-exercise protocol (HIIP) on neurocognitive function assessed by the Symbol Digits Modality Test (SDMT) and Stroop Interference Test. Design: Cohort study. Setting: University laboratory. Participants 40 healthy male athletes (age 21.25 ± 1.29 y, education 16.95 ± 1.37 y). Intervention: Each participant completed the SDMT and Stroop Interference Test at baseline and after random allocation to a condition (HIIP vs control). A mixed between-within-subjects ANOVA assessed time- (pre- vs postcondition) -by-condition interaction effects. Main Outcome Measures: SDMT and Stroop Interference Test scores. Results: There was a significant time-by-condition interaction effect (P < .001, η 2 = .364) for the Stroop Interference Test scores, indicating that the HIIP group scored significantly lower (56.05 ± 9.34) postcondition than the control group (66.39 ± 19.6). There was no significant time-by-condition effect (P = .997, η 2 < .001) for the SDMT, indicating that there was no difference between SDMT scores for the HIIP and control groups (59.95 ± 10.7 vs 58.56 ± 14.02). Conclusions: In healthy athletes, the HIIP results in a reduction in neurocognitive function as assessed by the Stroop Interference Test, with no effect on function as assessed by the SDMT. Testing should also be considered after high-intensity exercise in determining RTP decisions for athletes after SRC in conjunction with the existing recommended RTP protocol. These results may provide an initial reference point for future research investigating the effects of an HIIP on the neurocognitive function of athletes recovering from SRC.

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Steven P. Broglio and Kevin M. Guskiewicz

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Anna Meijer, Marsh Königs, Irene M.J. van der Fels, Chris Visscher, Roel J. Bosker, Esther Hartman, and Jaap Oosterlaan

biomedical studies) have identified several underlying mechanisms which may explain the beneficial effects of physical activity on neurocognitive functioning. A single bout of physical activity has been shown to directly enhance cerebral blood flow and to trigger the upregulation of neurotransmitters (e

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Theodore C. Hannah, Oranicha Jumreornvong, Naoum F. Marayati, Zachary Spiera, Muhammad Ali, Adam Y. Li, John R. Durbin, Nick Dreher, Alex Gometz, Mark Lovell, and Tanvir Choudhri

Gender differences in neurocognitive function have been reported over the past few decades ( 2 , 19 , 20 , 23 , 27 , 28 ). For example, adult males have been found to perform better in visual–spatial memory, mental rotation, and quantitative problem solving, whereas adult females have been found to

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Danylo F. Cabral, Vinicius S. Santos, Oceano T.T. Pereira, Maria J. Silva, Alvaro Pascual-Leone, Tatjana Rundek, David A. Loewenstein, Neva Kirk-Sanchez, Augusto C.A. Oliveira, and Joyce Gomes-Osman

improvement from other reported multimodal PA education interventions in older adults (0.18 and 620 steps/day, respectively; Chase, 2015 ). We did not expect that our 3-day EDU-ACT intervention would lead to direct improvements in neurocognitive function, and this was supported by the minimal relative gains

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J.D. DeFreese, Michael J. Baum, Julianne D. Schmidt, Benjamin M. Goerger, Nikki Barczak, Kevin M. Guskiewicz, and Jason P. Mihalik

managed using a multifaceted approach that includes assessment of neurocognitive function, postural control, symptoms, and a thorough clinical evaluation. 3 Within this comprehensive protocol, effective baseline testing is crucial during postinjury evaluation by allowing comparison to an individualized

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Rachele E. Vogelpohl, Rachel A. Lindsey, Christopher D. Stickley, Ronald K. Hetzler, Whitney Williams, and Iris F. Kimura

Subconcussive head impacts do not result in outward signs of neurological dysfunction, however they may have an effect on neurocognitive function. Limited research has indicated that negative changes in neurocognitive function occurs in high school football athletes as a result of one season of football. The purpose of this study was to prospectively evaluate the effects of one season of high school football on neurocognitive test scores. Results revealed a significant group and time interaction effect (p < .001) for the Verbal Memory composite score of the ImPACT test. Further analysis revealed a significant difference in the Verbal Memory score between groups at postseason (p < .01), with the football group scoring lower than the low contact group. It appears that one season of high school football may have a negative effect on the Verbal Memory composite score of the ImPACT test in high school football athletes.

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Joe R. Nocera, Keith M. McGregor, Chris J. Hass, and Bruce Crosson

Studies suggest improvements of neurocognitive function among older adults who undergo aerobic exercise training. This study sought to examine the impact of an aerobic exercise intervention on verbal fluency in sedentary older adults. Twenty community-dwelling older adults were recruited and enrolled in either a spin exercise group or a control condition. Participants were evaluated with an estimated V02max test and on measures of letter, category, and switching verbal fluency both before and after a 12-week intervention period. Spin exercise resulted in a significant improvement in category (semantic) verbal fluency when compared with the control group (15% vs. 2% increase, respectively; P = .001). Spin exercise also resulted in a significant improvement in estimated V02max (P = .005). Also important, the spin exercise group demonstrated a high level of adherence (mean adherence = 82.5%). Spin exercise can be an effective mode of aerobic exercise to improve semantic fluency in previously sedentary older adults.