Posts Tagged physical training

[Abstract + References] Epilepsy, Physical Activity and Sports: A Narrative Review

Abstract

People with epilepsy (PWE) are less physically active compared with the general population. Explanations include prejudice, overprotection, unawareness, stigma, fear of seizure induction and lack of knowledge of health professionals. At present, there is no consensus on the role of exercise in epilepsy. This paper reviews the current evidence surrounding the risks and benefits associated with physical activity (PA) in this group of patients. In the last decade, several publications indicate significant benefits in physiological and psychological health parameters, including mood and cognition, physical conditioning, social interaction, quality of life, as well as potential prevention of seizure presentation. Moreover, experimental studies suggest that PA provides mechanisms of neuronal protection, related to biochemical and structural changes including release of β-endorphins and steroids, which may exert an inhibitory effect on the occurrence of abnormal electrical activity. Epileptic discharges can decrease or disappear during exercise, which may translate into reduced seizure recurrence. In some patients, exercise may precipitate seizures. Available evidence suggests that PA should be encouraged in PWE in order to promote wellbeing and quality of life. There is a need for prospective randomized controlled studies that provide stronger clinical evidence before definitive recommendations can be made.

References

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[OPINION ARTICLE] Enhancing Our Lives with Immersive Virtual Reality – Full Text

Summary

Virtual reality (VR) started about 50 years ago in a form we would recognize today [stereo head-mounted display (HMD), head tracking, computer graphics generated images] – although the hardware was completely different. In the 1980s and 1990s, VR emerged again based on a different generation of hardware (e.g., CRT displays rather than vector refresh, electromagnetic tracking instead of mechanical). This reached the attention of the public, and VR was hailed by many engineers, scientists, celebrities, and business people as the beginning of a new era, when VR would soon change the world for the better. Then, VR disappeared from public view and was rumored to be “dead.” In the intervening 25 years a huge amount of research has nevertheless been carried out across a vast range of applications – from medicine to business, from psychotherapy to industry, from sports to travel. Scientists, engineers, and people working in industry carried on with their research and applications using and exploring different forms of VR, not knowing that actually the topic had already passed away.

The purpose of this article is to survey a range of VR applications where there is some evidence for, or at least debate about, its utility, mainly based on publications in peer-reviewed journals. Of course not every type of application has been covered, nor every scientific paper (about 186,000 papers in Google Scholar): in particular, in this review we have not covered applications in psychological or medical rehabilitation. The objective is that the reader becomes aware of what has been accomplished in VR, where the evidence is weaker or stronger, and what can be done. We start in Section 1 with an outline of what VR is and the major conceptual framework used to understand what happens when people experience it – the concept of “presence.” In Section 2, we review some areas where VR has been used in science – mostly psychology and neuroscience, the area of scientific visualization, and some remarks about its use in education and surgical training. In Section 3, we discuss how VR has been used in sports and exercise. In Section 4, we survey applications in social psychology and related areas – how VR has been used to throw light on some social phenomena, and how it can be used to tackle experimentally areas that cannot be studied experimentally in real life. We conclude with how it has been used in the preservation of and access to cultural heritage. In Section 5, we present the domain of moral behavior, including an example of how it might be used to train professionals such as medical doctors when confronting serious dilemmas with patients. In Section 6, we consider how VR has been and might be used in various aspects of travel, collaboration, and industry. In Section 7, we consider mainly the use of VR in news presentation and also discuss different types of VR. In the concluding Section 8, we briefly consider new ideas that have recently emerged – an impossible task since during the short time we have written this page even newer ideas have emerged! And, we conclude with some general considerations and speculations.

Throughout and wherever possible we have stressed novel applications and approaches and how the real power of VR is not necessarily to produce a faithful reproduction of “reality” but rather that it offers the possibility to step outside of the normal bounds of reality and realize goals in a totally new and unexpected way. We hope that our article will provoke readers to think as paradigm changers, and advance VR to realize different worlds that might have a positive impact on the lives of millions of people worldwide, and maybe even help a little in saving the planet.

Continue —> Frontiers | Enhancing Our Lives with Immersive Virtual Reality | Virtual Environments

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[Abstract] Rehabilitation training in neural restitution

Abstract

Over the last decade, neural transplantation has emerged as one of the more promising, albeit highly experimental, potential therapeutics in neurodegenerative disease. Preclinical studies in rat lesion models of Huntington’s disease (HD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD) have shown that transplanted precursor neuronal tissue from a fetus into the lesioned striatum can survive, integrate, and reconnect circuitry. Importantly, specific training on behavioral tasks that target striatal function is required to encourage functional integration of the graft to the host tissue. Indeed, “learning to use the graft” is a concept recently adopted in preclinical studies to account for unpredicted profiles of recovery posttransplantation and is an emerging strategy for improving graft functionality.

Clinical transplant studies in HD and PD have resulted in mixed outcomes. Small sample sizes and nonstandardized experimental procedures from trial to trial may explain some of this variability. However, it is becoming increasingly apparent that simply replacing the lost neurons may not be sufficient to ensure the optimal graft effects. The knowledge gained from preclinical grafting and training studies suggests that lifestyle factors, including physical activity and specific cognitive and/or motor training, may be required to drive the functional integration of grafted cells and to facilitate the development of compensatory neural networks. The clear implications of preclinical studies are that physical activity and cognitive training strategies are likely to be crucial components of clinical cell replacement therapies in the future.

In this chapter, we evaluate the role of general activity in mediating the physical ability of cells to survive, sprout, and extend processes following transplantation in the adult mammalian brain, and we consider the impact of general and specific activity at the behavioral level on functional integration at the cellular and physiological level. We then highlight specific research questions related to timing, intensity, and specificity of training in preclinical models and synthesize the current state of knowledge in clinical populations to inform the development of a strategy for neural transplantation rehabilitation training.

    Source: Rehabilitation training in neural restitution

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    [Abstract] Hydrotherapy vs. conventional land-based exercise for improving walking and balance after stroke: a randomized controlled trial.

    Abstract

    Objective: To investigate the effects of hydrotherapy on walking ability and balance in patients with chronic stroke.

    Design: Single-blind, randomized controlled pilot trial.

    Setting: Outpatient rehabilitation clinic at a tertiary neurological hospital in China.

    Subjects: A total of 28 participants with impairments in walking and controlling balance more than six months post-stroke.

    Intervention: After baseline evaluations, participants were randomly assigned to a land-based therapy (control group, n = 14) or hydrotherapy (study group, n = 14). Participants underwent individual sessions for four weeks, five days a week, for 45 minutes per session.

    Main measures: After four weeks of rehabilitation, all participants were evaluated by a blinded assessor. Functional assessments included the Functional Reach Test, Berg Balance Scale, 2-minute walk test, and Timed Up and Go Test.

    Results: After four weeks of treatment, the Berg Balance Scale, functional reach test, 2-minute walk test, and the Timed Up and Go Test scores had improved significantly in each group (P < 0.05). The mean improvement of the functional reach test and 2-minute walk test were significantly higher in the aquatic group than in the control group (P < 0.01). The differences in the mean values of the improvements in the Berg Balance Scale and the Timed Up and Go Test were not statistically significant.

    Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that a relatively short programme (four weeks) of hydrotherapy exercise resulted in a large improvement in a small group (n = 14) of individuals with relatively high balance and walking function following a stroke.

     

    Source: Hydrotherapy vs. conventional land-based exercise for improving walking and balance after stroke: a randomized controlled trial

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    [ARTICLE] Exercise as medicine – evidence for prescribing exercise as therapy in 26 different chronic diseases – Full Text HTML/PDF

    Abstract

    Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in SportsThis review provides the reader with the up-to-date evidence-based basis for prescribing exercise as medicine in the treatment of 26 different diseases: psychiatric diseases (depression, anxiety, stress, schizophrenia); neurological diseases (dementia, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis); metabolic diseases (obesity, hyperlipidemia, metabolic syndrome, polycystic ovarian syndrome, type 2 diabetes, type 1 diabetes); cardiovascular diseases (hypertension, coronary heart disease, heart failure, cerebral apoplexy, and claudication intermittent); pulmonary diseases (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, cystic fibrosis); musculo-skeletal disorders (osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, back pain, rheumatoid arthritis); and cancer. The effect of exercise therapy on disease pathogenesis and symptoms are given and the possible mechanisms of action are discussed. We have interpreted the scientific literature and for each disease, we provide the reader with our best advice regarding the optimal type and dose for prescription of exercise.

    Introduction

    Here we present an update of a previously published review “Evidence for prescribing exercise as therapy in chronic disease” from 2006 (Pedersen & Saltin, 2006). Physical activity represents a cornerstone in the primary prevention of at least 35 chronic conditions (Booth et al., 2012). However, over the past two decades, considerable knowledge has accumulated concerning the significance of exercise as the first-line treatment of several chronic diseases. Of note, today exercise has a role as medicine in diseases that do not primarily manifest as disorders of the locomotive apparatus. When we selected diagnoses to be included in this review, we took into account both the frequency of the diseases and the relative need for exercise therapy. Twenty-six diseases covering various aspects of the medical curriculum are included. These are psychiatric diseases (depression, anxiety, stress, schizophrenia); neurological diseases (dementia, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis); metabolic diseases (adiposity, hyperlipidemia, metabolic syndrome, polycystic ovarian syndrome, type 2 diabetes, type 1 diabetes); cardiovascular diseases (hypertension, coronary heart disease, heart failure, cerebral apoplexy, and intermittent claudication); pulmonary diseases (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, cystic fibrosis); musculo-skeletal disorders (osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, back pain, rheumatoid arthritis); and cancer. We provide the reader with the evidence-based basis for prescribing exercise as medicine for all of these diseases. We than briefly discuss possible mechanisms of action. Finally, regarding type and dose of exercise we suggest specific recommendations, which are based on evidence, experience and common sense.

    Methods

    A comprehensive literature search was carried out for each diagnosis in the Cochrane Library and MEDLINE databases (search terms: exercise therapy, training, physical fitness, physical activity, rehabilitation and aerobic). In addition, we sought literature by examining reference lists in original articles and reviews. We have primarily identified systematic reviews and meta-analyses and thereafter identified additional controlled trials. We then selected studies in which the intervention was aerobic or strength exercise and have given priority to randomized controlled trials (RCTs).

    Continue —> Exercise as medicine – evidence for prescribing exercise as therapy in 26 different chronic diseases – Pedersen – 2015 – Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports – Wiley Online Library

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    [ARTICLE] Hydrotherapy vs. conventional land-based exercise for improving walking and balance after stroke: A randomized controlled trial

    Abstract

    Objective: To investigate the effects of hydrotherapy on walking ability and balance in patients with chronic stroke.

    Design: Single-blind, randomized controlled pilot trial.

    Setting: Outpatient rehabilitation clinic at a tertiary neurological hospital in China.

    Subjects: A total of 28 participants with impairments in walking and controlling balance more than six months post-stroke.

    Intervention: After baseline evaluations, participants were randomly assigned to a land-based therapy (control group, n = 14) or hydrotherapy (study group, n = 14). Participants underwent individual sessions for four weeks, five days a week, for 45 minutes per session.

    Main measures: After four weeks of rehabilitation, all participants were evaluated by a blinded assessor. Functional assessments included the Functional Reach Test, Berg Balance Scale, 2-minute walk test, and Timed Up and Go Test.

    Results: After four weeks of treatment, the Berg Balance Scale, functional reach test, 2-minute walk test, and the Timed Up and Go Test scores had improved significantly in each group (P < 0.05). The mean improvement of the functional reach test and 2-minute walk test were significantly higher in the aquatic group than in the control group (P < 0.01). The differences in the mean values of the improvements in the Berg Balance Scale and the Timed Up and Go Test were not statistically significant.

    Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that a relatively short programme (four weeks) of hydrotherapy exercise resulted in a large improvement in a small group (n = 14) of individuals with relatively high balance and walking function following a stroke.

    via Hydrotherapy vs. conventional land-based exercise for improving walking and balance after stroke: A randomized controlled trial.

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