A new mindset study is looking at the link between physical fitness and mental health
A major international study has been launched to investigate whether exercise can improve cognition in people with Down syndrome.
The· Mindset research Is a partnership between the Down Syndrome Society of Canada, BrainHQ, and Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), and researchers are looking for participants from the United Kingdom.
There is anecdotal evidence that exercise can improve the mental health of people in the Down Syndrome community, but its effects have not been extensively studied. Due to this lack of data, many doctors and parents do not prioritize the physical fitness of people with Down Syndrome.
If successful, the findings published in the Mindset study are expected to lead to movements that will become an integral part of the lives of people with Down Syndrome.
This study collects data on the effects of physical and brain movements on physical and cognitive abilities over time. The custom-designed Mindsets app collects exercise data from Fitbits, as well as brain exercise data from BrainHQ.
Researchers will also perform standard physical and cognitive assessments of participants at the beginning and end of the study, allowing them to accurately measure the effects of exercise. The app also connects researchers and participants and helps them get going during the study.
This study is being conducted by Dr. Dan Gordon of Anglia Ruskin University. Pilot research has just begun, and researchers are now recruiting more than 200 people over the age of 18 to participate in the next phase.
Dr. Gordon, an associate professor of cardiopulmonary exercise physiology at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, said:
“This is a groundbreaking study and we hope to show how widespread the positive effects of exercise can be for people with Down Syndrome.
“We already know that exercise can bring great benefits to overall health and well-being, and we have seen many isolated examples of exercise that affect cognition. This size of research is very important because no data is available yet.
“A slight increase in cognition can make incredible changes in the quality of life of people with Down Syndrome, which allows them to live more independently and perform activities of daily living much more. It will be easy. “
BrainHQ, a brain training program created by Posit Science, is used in the cognitive-motor aspects of research. Dr. Henry Mahncke, CEO of Posit Science, said:
“In order to adapt BrainHQ for use in this study, we manually selected the appropriate set of exercises to accurately target core cognitive abilities such as processing speed, attention, and memory.”
Ben Tar, a member of the board of directorsLeo’s father, a member of the Down Syndrome Society of Canada and with Down Syndrome, said:
“We have a lot of cognitive therapy to help our son learn, grow and become more independent as he grows older, but exercise is not treated as an important part of the process.
“My wife and I have even heard that some doctors discourage strenuous exercise because of medical concerns such as heart defects and hypotonia. But this study proved a link between the two. If so, it can have a profound effect on the lives of people with Down Syndrome around the world. “
The Canadian Down Syndrome Society (CDSS) works closely with leading advertising agency FCB Canada. FCB Canada’s Chief Creative Officer, Nancy Crimi-Lamanna, said:
“Collaboration with CDSS over the past few years has really advocated the needs of the Down Syndrome community.
“If we succeed in demonstrating the link between exercise and cognition, this study has the power to change our thinking about learning and development. This prevents people with Down Syndrome from living their lives to the fullest. It helps to break down systemic barriers. Beyond the Down Syndrome community, this can also have widespread implications for other people living with cognitive impairment. “
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