July 14, 2015, by Elena Nixon
Physical activity helps cognition in Tourette Disorder
A number of us from the Candal Team recently met with clinicians, researchers and allied healthcare professionals at the 1st World Congress on Tourette Syndrome and Tic Disorders (June 24-26, London). Amongst other current research topics discussed in relation to the symptomatology and management of Tourette Syndrome (TS), we presented results from a recent study that further demonstrate the beneficial impact of physical activity on mental health. Following our previously published findings showing that short-term aerobic exercise can significantly reduce the frequency of tics in children and adolescents with TS (see link below*), we are now providing evidence for a beneficial effect of short-term aerobic exercise on cognition in TS.
After a short bout of moderately vigorous kickboxing, children and adolescents with TS showed improved overall performance on a cognitive task, including trials that required enhanced cognitive control. Notably, although the overall improvement was also evident after participants had performed a mild physical activity (involving low-intensity Tai Chi), enhanced cognitive control was only observed after the moderately vigorous kickboxing activity, in line with recent research showing beneficial post-aerobic exercise effects on cognitive control in ADHD. We are currently in the process of writing up these results for publication in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. Will keep you posted!
Dr Elena Nixon, Member of the CANDAL team