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Improvement of gross motor and cognitive abilities by an exercise training program: three case reports

Authors Alesi M, Battaglia G, Roccella M, Testa D, Palma A, Pepi A

Received 29 November 2013

Accepted for publication 13 January 2014

Published 14 March 2014 Volume 2014:10 Pages 479—485


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Marianna Alesi,1 Giuseppe Battaglia,2 Michele Roccella,1 Davide Testa,1 Antonio Palma,2 Annamaria Pepi1

1Department of Psychology, 2Department of Law, Social and Sport Science, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy

Background: This work examined the efficacy of an integrated exercise training program (coach and family) in three children with Down syndrome to improve their motor and cognitive abilities, in particular reaction time and working memory.
Methods: The integrated exercise training program was used in three children with Down syndrome, comprising two boys (M1, with a chronological age of 10.3 years and a mental age of 4.7 years; M2, with a chronological age of 14.6 years and a mental age of less than 4 years) and one girl (F1, chronological age 14.0 years and a mental age of less than 4 years).
Results: Improvements in gross motor ability scores were seen after the training period. Greater improvements in task reaction time were noted for both evaluation parameters, ie, time and omissions.
Conclusion: There is a close interrelationship between motor and cognitive domains in individuals with atypical development. There is a need to plan intervention programs based on the simultaneous involvement of child and parents and aimed at promoting an active lifestyle in individuals with Down syndrome.

Keywords: disability, Down syndrome, gross motor abilities, cognitive abilities, physical activity

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