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      Dose-response relationship between exercise and cognitive function in older adults with and without cognitive impairment: A systematic review and meta-analysis

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          Abstract

          This systematic review and meta-analysis examined the dose-response relationship between exercise and cognitive function in older adults with and without cognitive impairments. We included single-modality randomized controlled aerobic, anaerobic, multicomponent or psychomotor exercise trials that quantified training frequency, session and program duration and specified intensity quantitatively or qualitatively. We defined total exercise duration in minutes as the product of program duration, session duration, and frequency. For each study, we grouped test-specific Hedges’ d (n = 163) and Cohen’s d (n = 23) effect sizes in the domains Global cognition, Executive function and Memory. We used multilevel mixed-effects models to investigate dose-related predictors of exercise effects. In healthy older adults (n = 23 studies), there was a small positive effect of exercise on executive function (d = 0.27) and memory (d = 0.24), but dose-parameters did not predict the magnitude of effect sizes. In older adults with cognitive impairments (n = 13 studies), exercise had a moderate positive effect on global cognition (d = 0.37). For older adults with cognitive impairments, we found evidence for exercise programs with a short session duration and high frequency to predict higher effect sizes (d = 0.43–0.50). In healthy older adults, dose-parameters did not predict the magnitude of exercise effects on cognition. For older adults with cognitive impairments, exercise programs with shorter session duration and higher frequency may generate the best cognitive results. Studies are needed in which different exercise doses are directly compared among randomized subjects or conditions.

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          Effect size, confidence interval and statistical significance: a practical guide for biologists.

          Null hypothesis significance testing (NHST) is the dominant statistical approach in biology, although it has many, frequently unappreciated, problems. Most importantly, NHST does not provide us with two crucial pieces of information: (1) the magnitude of an effect of interest, and (2) the precision of the estimate of the magnitude of that effect. All biologists should be ultimately interested in biological importance, which may be assessed using the magnitude of an effect, but not its statistical significance. Therefore, we advocate presentation of measures of the magnitude of effects (i.e. effect size statistics) and their confidence intervals (CIs) in all biological journals. Combined use of an effect size and its CIs enables one to assess the relationships within data more effectively than the use of p values, regardless of statistical significance. In addition, routine presentation of effect sizes will encourage researchers to view their results in the context of previous research and facilitate the incorporation of results into future meta-analysis, which has been increasingly used as the standard method of quantitative review in biology. In this article, we extensively discuss two dimensionless (and thus standardised) classes of effect size statistics: d statistics (standardised mean difference) and r statistics (correlation coefficient), because these can be calculated from almost all study designs and also because their calculations are essential for meta-analysis. However, our focus on these standardised effect size statistics does not mean unstandardised effect size statistics (e.g. mean difference and regression coefficient) are less important. We provide potential solutions for four main technical problems researchers may encounter when calculating effect size and CIs: (1) when covariates exist, (2) when bias in estimating effect size is possible, (3) when data have non-normal error structure and/or variances, and (4) when data are non-independent. Although interpretations of effect sizes are often difficult, we provide some pointers to help researchers. This paper serves both as a beginner's instruction manual and a stimulus for changing statistical practice for the better in the biological sciences.
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            Empirical evidence of bias. Dimensions of methodological quality associated with estimates of treatment effects in controlled trials.

            To determine if inadequate approaches to randomized controlled trial design and execution are associated with evidence of bias in estimating treatment effects. An observational study in which we assessed the methodological quality of 250 controlled trials from 33 meta-analyses and then analyzed, using multiple logistic regression models, the associations between those assessments and estimated treatment effects. Meta-analyses from the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Database. The associations between estimates of treatment effects and inadequate allocation concealment, exclusions after randomization, and lack of double-blinding. Compared with trials in which authors reported adequately concealed treatment allocation, trials in which concealment was either inadequate or unclear (did not report or incompletely reported a concealment approach) yielded larger estimates of treatment effects (P < .001). Odds ratios were exaggerated by 41% for inadequately concealed trials and by 30% for unclearly concealed trials (adjusted for other aspects of quality). Trials in which participants had been excluded after randomization did not yield larger estimates of effects, but that lack of association may be due to incomplete reporting. Trials that were not double-blind also yielded larger estimates of effects (P = .01), with odds ratios being exaggerated by 17%. This study provides empirical evidence that inadequate methodological approaches in controlled trials, particularly those representing poor allocation concealment, are associated with bias. Readers of trial reports should be wary of these pitfalls, and investigators must improve their design, execution, and reporting of trials.
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              Exercise interventions for cognitive function in adults older than 50: a systematic review with meta-analysis

              Physical exercise is seen as a promising intervention to prevent or delay cognitive decline in individuals aged 50 years and older, yet the evidence from reviews is not conclusive.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Data curationRole: Formal analysisRole: MethodologyRole: VisualizationRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Funding acquisitionRole: SupervisionRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Formal analysisRole: MethodologyRole: SoftwareRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Funding acquisitionRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Formal analysisRole: Funding acquisitionRole: MethodologyRole: SupervisionRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Editor
                Journal
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                plos
                plosone
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, CA USA )
                1932-6203
                10 January 2019
                2019
                : 14
                : 1
                : e0210036
                Affiliations
                [1 ] Center for Human Movement Sciences, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands
                [2 ] Department of Epidemiology, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands
                [3 ] Groningen Institute for Evolutionary Life Sciences (GELIFES), University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands
                EHESP Paris, FRANCE
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

                Author information
                http://orcid.org/0000-0002-9898-2860
                http://orcid.org/0000-0003-0666-6690
                Article
                PONE-D-18-27196
                10.1371/journal.pone.0210036
                6328108
                30629631
                dd939bb3-dd15-45ee-a3b0-affce4b2a322
                © 2019 Sanders et al

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                History
                : 18 September 2018
                : 14 December 2018
                Page count
                Figures: 3, Tables: 5, Pages: 24
                Funding
                Funded by: funder-id http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100001826, ZonMw;
                Award ID: 733050303
                Award Recipient :
                The current study was supported by the Deltaplan Dementia (LS, TH, EvdZ, MvH: ZonMW, Dutch Ministry of Health: Memorabel, project number 733050303, received by TH, EvdZ, MvH, url: https://www.zonmw.nl/nl/over-zonmw/ehealth-en-ict-in-de-zorg/programmas/project-detail/memorabel/train-the-sedentary-brain-move-smart-to-reduce-the-risk-of-dementia/), University of Groningen (all authors, url: https://www.rug.nl/?lang=en) and the University Medical Center Groningen (LS, TH, SlBvG, MvH, url: https://www.umcg.nl/EN/corporate/Paginas/default.aspx). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
                Categories
                Research Article
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Neuroscience
                Cognitive Science
                Cognitive Neuroscience
                Cognitive Neurology
                Cognitive Impairment
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Neuroscience
                Cognitive Neuroscience
                Cognitive Neurology
                Cognitive Impairment
                Medicine and Health Sciences
                Neurology
                Cognitive Neurology
                Cognitive Impairment
                Medicine and Health Sciences
                Public and Occupational Health
                Physical Activity
                Physical Fitness
                Exercise
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                Sports and Exercise Medicine
                Exercise
                Biology and Life Sciences
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                Exercise
                People and Places
                Population Groupings
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                Physical Activity
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                Sports and Exercise Medicine
                Exercise
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                Biology and Life Sciences
                Sports Science
                Sports and Exercise Medicine
                Exercise
                Strength Training
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Neuroscience
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                Pharmaceutics
                Dose Prediction Methods
                Medicine and Health Sciences
                Mental Health and Psychiatry
                Dementia
                Medicine and Health Sciences
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                The data available from our Open Science Framework project, URL: https://osf.io/qe43p/.

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