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Effect of high-endurance exercise intervention on sleep-dependent procedural memory consolidation in individuals with schizophrenia: a randomized controlled trial

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 October 2021

Lincoln Lik Hang Lo
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, University of Hong Kong, Pok Fu Lam, Hong Kong
Edwin Ho Ming Lee*
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, University of Hong Kong, Pok Fu Lam, Hong Kong
Christy Lai Ming Hui
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, University of Hong Kong, Pok Fu Lam, Hong Kong
Catherine Shiu Yin Chong
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, Kwai Chung Hospital, Kwai Chung, Hong Kong
Wing Chung Chang
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, University of Hong Kong, Pok Fu Lam, Hong Kong State Key Laboratory of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, University of Hong Kong, Pok Fu Lam, Hong Kong
Sherry Kit Wa Chan
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, University of Hong Kong, Pok Fu Lam, Hong Kong State Key Laboratory of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, University of Hong Kong, Pok Fu Lam, Hong Kong
Jessie Jingxia Lin
Affiliation:
Neuroscience and Neurological Rehabilitation, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Hong Kong
William Tak Lam Lo
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, Kwai Chung Hospital, Kwai Chung, Hong Kong
Eric Yu Hai Chen
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, University of Hong Kong, Pok Fu Lam, Hong Kong State Key Laboratory of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, University of Hong Kong, Pok Fu Lam, Hong Kong
*
Author for correspondence: Edwin Ho Ming Lee, E-mail: edwinlhm@hku.hk

Abstract

Background

Little is known about the effects of physical exercise on sleep-dependent consolidation of procedural memory in individuals with schizophrenia. We conducted a randomized controlled trial (RCT) to assess the effectiveness of physical exercise in improving this cognitive function in schizophrenia.

Methods

A three-arm parallel open-labeled RCT took place in a university hospital. Participants were randomized and allocated into either the high-intensity-interval-training group (HIIT), aerobic-endurance exercise group (AE), or psychoeducation group for 12 weeks, with three sessions per week. Seventy-nine individuals with schizophrenia spectrum disorder were contacted and screened for their eligibility. A total of 51 were successfully recruited in the study. The primary outcome was sleep-dependent procedural memory consolidation performance as measured by the finger-tapping motor sequence task (MST). Assessments were conducted during baseline and follow-up on week 12.

Results

The MST performance scored significantly higher in the HIIT (n = 17) compared to the psychoeducation group (n = 18) after the week 12 intervention (p < 0.001). The performance differences between the AE (n = 16) and the psychoeducation (p = 0.057), and between the AE and the HIIT (p = 0.999) were not significant. Yet, both HIIT (p < 0.0001) and AE (p < 0.05) showed significant within-group post-intervention improvement.

Conclusions

Our results show that HIIT and AE were effective at reverting the defective sleep-dependent procedural memory consolidation in individuals with schizophrenia. Moreover, HIIT had a more distinctive effect compared to the control group. These findings suggest that HIIT may be a more effective treatment to improve sleep-dependent memory functions in individuals with schizophrenia than AE alone.

Type
Original Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press

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Effect of high-endurance exercise intervention on sleep-dependent procedural memory consolidation in individuals with schizophrenia: a randomized controlled trial
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