Physical Activity, Exercise Physiology, Movement
Effects of a 6-month exercise intervention on episodic memory in older adults at risk for stroke
(School of Public Health (UMD) Kinesiology Undergraduate Student)
Episodic memory is the memory of autobiographical events and is the collection of personal experiences from specific times and places in one’s life. The ability to encode information into episodic memory has been shown to decline as one ages. This study implemented a 6 month exercise intervention to investigate the effect of exercise on episodic memory in older adults at risk for stroke.Ten subjects (1 male) over the age of 60, participated in a low-intensity exercise program, three days a week for six months. Exercises included aerobic mobility and strengthening. We measured episodic memory using the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test at baseline (T1), three months (T2), and after 6 months (T3).One participant did not attend enough classes to be included in the analysis. A one-way repeated measures ANOVA was conducted to determine if the mean number of words recalled for each trial differed at the three time points (T1, T2, and T3), and post hoc analyses revealed the following pairs of means to be statistically significant or close to significant: Trial 1: [T1(M=4.44, SD=1.2) and T2(M=6.56, SD=2.7), p=0.02]; Trial 2: [T1 (M=6.78 , SD=1.6) and T3(M=8.56, SD=2.2), p=0.035]; Trial 3: [T1(M=7.22, SD=2.4) and T2(M=9.89, SD=3.4), p=0.034], [T1(M=7.22, SD=2.4 and T3(M=8.44, SD=3.0), p=0.056]; Trial 4: [T1(M=8.78, SD=2.4) and T3(M=10.11, SD=2.7), p=0.073]; Trial 1-5 Total: [T1(M=36.00, SD=9.8) and T2(M=45.44, SD=13.6), p=0.02], [T1(M=36.00, SD=9.8) and T3(M=42.89, SD=9.4), p=0.002]; Delayed: [T1(M=6.33, SD=3.6) and T2(M=8.89, SD=4.6), p=0.081].These findings suggest that an exercise intervention can improve episodic memory in older adults at risk for stroke. Thus, exercise interventions could prove to be a way to combat aging related degeneration of episodic memory.