ISC 2017: Exercise Significantly Improves Cognitive Impairment After Stroke

Thursday, February 23, 2017

New research presented at the ongoing International Stroke Conference 2017 suggests that structured exercise training can significantly improve brain function in stroke survivors. Given the prevalence of cognitive impairments after stroke, researchers evaluated the effects of different types of physical activity on cognitive function among stroke survivors. In their meta-analysis of 13 intervention trials, including a total of 735 participants, the investigators found that structured physical activity training significantly improved cognitive deficits—such as measures of attention and processing speed—regardless of the length of the rehabilitation program. Moreover, the results showed that cognitive abilities could be enhanced even when physical activity is introduced in the chronic stroke phase (beyond three months after a stroke).

The authors also found that combined strength and aerobic training programs yielded the largest cognitive gains, a finding consistent with earlier research.

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