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Depression and Cognitive Dysfunction in Multiple Sclerosis: The Effect of Physical Activity

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Title: Depression and Cognitive Dysfunction in Multiple Sclerosis: The Effect of Physical Activity
Creators: Lukac, Jamie
Advisor: Prakash, Ruchika
Issue Date: 2011-06
Abstract: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurodegenerative disease of the central nervous system. MS has been found to have a negative impact on memory functioning and hippocampal volume. Additionally, there is a high prevalence of depression among this population, which is associated with an exacerbation of these deficits. However, cardiorespiratory fitness is linked with cognitive improvement and gray matter volume preservation. This study investigated physical activity as a moderator in the relationship between depression and cognitive functioning as well as depression and hippocampal volume. Fifty-two MS participants completed the Selective Reminding Task (SRT) to assess memory performance and an MRI session to obtain hippocampal volumes. Contrary to our hypotheses, depression was not associated with reduced memory functioning or greater hippocampal atrophy. However, physical activity had a marginally significant main effect on hippocampal volume. Further research is necessary to understand the nature of both depression and cognitive dysfunction is the MS population. This study provided preliminary evidence that both high and low intensity activity may buffer against hippocampal degeneration in MS.
Embargo: No embargo
Series/Report no.: The Ohio State University. Department of Psychology Honors Theses; 2011
Keywords: multiple sclerosis
cognition
physical activity
depression
hippocampus
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1811/48987
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