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Effects of combined aerobic and resistance training on cognition following stroke: a systematic review
INTRODUCTION. Stroke is one of the main causes of disability. Physical activity has shown a benefit in the physical rehabilitation of these patients. However, its role improving cognitive function has not been studied by far.
AIM. To review studies that evaluate the impact of physical activity on cognitive recovery after stroke.
PATIENTS AND METHODS. We searched in CENTRAL, Medline and ISI Web of Knowledge, for studies that analyzed the effect of a physical intervention (both aerobic or resistance exercise) on cognition following stroke.
RESULTS. Five studies were identified (93 patients). Studies show a wide heterogeneity in the tests used for cognitive assessment and also in exercise protocols. Identified studies support a positive impact of aerobic exercise on cognition. The two latest published studies (50 patients) have specifically evaluated the impact of combined aerobic and resistance training on cognition. The results suggest that the addition of resistance training may improve overall cognitive function and particularly executive function.