International Journal of Sport and Health Science
Online ISSN : 1880-4012
Print ISSN : 1348-1509
ISSN-L : 1348-1509
Effects of Physical Activity on Memory Deficits Occurring Subsequent to Hypoxic Encephalopathy: a Single-Case Study
Maki KojimaJunji NakamuraAkinori Nagano
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JOURNALS FREE ACCESS Advance online publication

Article ID: 201908


[Objective] Various methodologies have been employed for memory rehabilitation. However, inappropriateness of these approaches for patients suffering from marked memory deficit necessitates new effective approaches. Although studies report that physical activity and exercise can affect cognitive function, they lack sufficient empirical evidence. Therefore, we aimed to elucidate the effect of aerobic training on memory ability.

[Methods] The subject was a 48-year-old, right-handed man with memory deficit subsequent to hypoxic encephalopathy. We used an A-B-A single-case experimental design. The subject performed delayed word-recall task and word fluency task 10 times in each phase. During the baseline A- and washout A-phases, after memorizing 3 words, the subject performed a paper and pencil task for 15 minutes, and thereafter recalled the 3 memorized words and performed the word fluency task. During the B-phase, after memorizing 3 words, the subject pedaled a bicycle ergometer at an intensity of 50 W for 15 minutes, and thereafter performed the word-recall and word fluency tasks.

[Results] Average performance in the delayed recall task was 0 ± 0 words in the baseline A-phase, 2.3 ± 1.1 words in the B-phase, and 0.1 ± 0.3 words in the washout A-phase (F (2,18) = 37.098, p < 0.0001). The corresponding values in the word fluency task were 2.7 ± 0.9, 2.3 ± 1.3, and 3.6 ± 1.3 words, respectively.

[Discussion] These results suggest that aerobic training can lead to the recovery of memory deficit. Although acute effects were observed, comprehensive recovery of cognitive function was not achieved.

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