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October2012 Vol.49 Issue:        4        Table of Contents
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Aerobic Exercises Improve Blood Flow and Cognitive Functions in Anterior Circulation Ischemic Strokes

Mohamed S. El-Tamawy1, Moshera H. Darwish2, Foad Abd-Allah1,

Sandra M. Ahmed1, Heba A. Khalifa2

Departments of Neurology1, Faculty of Medicine,

Neuromuscular Disorder2, Faculty for Physical Therapy; Cairo University; Egypt


Background: Cerebrovascular disorders are the second most common cause of cognitive decline. Aerobic exercises have been proved to improve cognitive functions through producing vascular changes. Objective: To assess and explain from physiological point of view the efficacy of aerobic exercise on cognitive changes of stroke patients. Methods: Thirty Egyptian patients with stroke in territory of anterior circulation were divided in 2 groups (G1) received a routine physiotherapy program and (G2) performed aerobic exercise in addition to routine program. We compared between the 2 groups using the Adenbrookes's Cognitive Examination-Revised (ACER) for cognitive functional assessment and transcranial Doppler for cerebral blood flow measurements. Results: Comparison between the 2 groups showed a statistically significant difference in post-treatment ACER (P=0.017). Also we found an increase in mean flow velocity (MFV) in middle cerebral artery in (G2) compared to (G1) (P=0.049). A significant positive correlation was found between increased MFV in right MCA and improvement of ACER (r=0.62, p=0.0136) but not in left MCA (r=0.4, P=0.14). Conclusion: The current study showed positive effect of aerobic exercise on cognitive functions through significant increase in mean flow velocity of middle cerebral artery in patients with ischemic stroke in the territory of anterior circulation. [Egypt J Neurol Psychiat Neurosurg.  2012; 49(4): 305-308]

 Key Words: Aerobic exercise. Cognitive functions. Stroke. Tanscranial Doppler.

Correspondence to Sandra M. Ahmed, Department of Neurology1, Faculty of medicine, Cairo University, Egypt. Tel.: +201005162225     e-mail:

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