|LETTER TO EDITOR
|Year : 2020 | Volume
| Issue : 2 | Page : 108-109
Aerobic exercise for improving cognitive function in adult brain tumor patients
Chidiebere Emmanuel Okechukwu
Department of Public Health and Infectious Diseases, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy
|Date of Submission||21-Jul-2020|
|Date of Acceptance||18-Aug-2020|
|Date of Web Publication||26-Dec-2020|
Dr. Chidiebere Emmanuel Okechukwu
Department of Public Health and Infectious Diseases, Sapienza University of Rome, Piazzale Aldo Moro 5, Rome 00185
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Okechukwu CE. Aerobic exercise for improving cognitive function in adult brain tumor patients. Int J Neurooncol 2020;3:108-9
Aerobic exercise has been proven to be effective in ameliorating cognitive impairments associated with several brain disorders. However, according to the outcome of a systematic review of 29 randomized controlled trials, aerobic exercise was proved effective as an adjunct therapy for preventing cancer-related cognitive impairments in adult cancer patients. Regarding a recent pilot randomized controlled trial conducted by Gehring et al., a home-based, tutored aerobic exercise intervention for patients with Grade II and III gliomas achieved by carrying out 20–45 min of moderate-to-vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise 3 times/week for a duration of 6 months improved the cognitive performance, attention, memory, executive function, muscle strength, sleep quality, mood, cardiorespiratory fitness, and quality of life among brain tumor patients, thereby substantiating the effectiveness of aerobic exercise in ameliorating cognitive impairments and improving the quality of life in brain tumor patients which can still be retained after complex brain tumor surgery.
Brain tumor patients often experience cognitive and mood disorders which affect their quality of life, and aerobic exercise has been found to improve cognitive performance, mood, and quality of life., Moreover, most patients with brain tumor have poor functional capacity and cardiorespiratory fitness, while aerobic exercise enhances cardiorespiratory fitness and functional capacity, and improved cardiorespiratory fitness and functional capacity is associated with enhanced mood and cognitive functioning in brain cancer patients. However, aerobic exercise prescription for brain tumor patients should be tailored and prescribed according to individual's present physical health, health history, cardiorespiratory fitness, current oncological therapy, exercise tolerance, and preference, however, in order to prevent adverse cardiac events and complications before an exercise program, a clinical exercise testing should be performed by a medical team consisting of a cardio-oncologist, physiotherapist, and certified clinical exercise physiologist for appropriate tailoring and prescription of exercise for brain cancer patients. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, exercise is contraindicated in cancer patients with the following pathologies: Acute anemia, extreme fatigue and exhaustion, cardiopulmonary disease, and lymphedema.
In summary, there is a need to prescribe both supervised and home-based individualized aerobic exercise regimens to adult brain tumor patients, because aerobic exercise, most especially a supervised high-intensity interval training for at least 2 weeks or more, is very effective in improving cardiorespiratory fitness and functional capacity in cancer patients, and higher levels of cardiorespiratory fitness and functional capacity could reduce the possibility of developing cognitive impairments, mood disorders, and cardiovascular diseases during cancer treatment. However, there is a need for further experimental studies to discover the full mechanisms regulating these effects.
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Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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