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Study protocol on hormonal mediation of exercise on cognition, stress and immunity (PRO-HMECSI): effects of different exercise programmes in institutionalized elders

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posted on 2017-01-06, 10:30 authored by Ana Maria Teixeira, Jose Pedro Ferreira, Eef HogervorstEef Hogervorst, Margarida Ferreira Braga, Stephan Bandelow, Luis Rama, Antonio de Figueiredo, Maria Joao Campos, Guilherme Eustaquio Furtado, Matheus Uba Chupel, Filipa Martins Pedrosa
Physical activity (PA) in elders has been shown to have positive effects on a plethora of chronic diseases and to improve immunity, mental health, and cognition. Chronic stress has also been shown to have immuno-suppressive effects and to accelerate immunosenescence. Exercise could be a significant factor in ameliorating the deleterious effects of chronic stress, but variables such as the type, intensity, and frequency of exercise that should be performed in order to effectively reduce the stress burden need to be defined clearly. PRO-HMECSI will allow us to investigate which hormonal and immunological parameters are able to mediate the effects of exercise on mucosal immunity, psychological/biological stress, and cognitive functioning in older people. Phase I consists of an observational cross-sectional study that compares elders groups (n = 223, >65 years) by functional fitness levels aiming to identify biomarkers involved in maintaining immune and mental health. Neuroendocrine and immune biomarkers of stress, psychological well-being related to mental health, neurocognitive function, functional fitness, and daily PA will be evaluated. Phase II consists of a 28-week intervention in elders with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) profile (n = 149, >65 years, divided in three groups of exercise and one control group), aiming to investigate whether the positive effect of three different types of chair-based exercise programs on physical and psychological health is mediated by an optimal endocrine environment. Primary outcomes are measures of cognitive function and global health. Secondary outcomes include the evaluation the other dimensions such as immune function, psychological health, and depression. Few studies addressed the effects of different types of exercise interventions in older population samples with MCI. We will also be able to determine which type of exercise is more effective in the immune and hormonal function of this population.


This work was financed by FEDER funds through COMPETE and national funds through FCT-Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology in the framework of project PTDC/DTP-DES/0154/2012. The PhD students GF and MC were financed by a grant from CAPES/CNPQ  –  Ministry of Education, Brazil (BEX: 11929/13-8 and BEX: 13642/13-8, respectively). AT, JF, LR, AF, and MC are registered at CIDAF (UID/PTD/04213/2013).



  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

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Frontiers in Public Health




TEIXEIRA, A.M. ... et al., 2016. Study protocol on hormonal mediation of exercise on cognition, stress and immunity (PRO-HMECSI): effects of different exercise programmes in institutionalized elders. Frontiers in Public Health, 4 (Article 133), pp. 1-13.


© Teixeira, Ferreira, Hogervorst, Braga, Bandelow, Rama, Figueiredo, Campos, Furtado, Chupel and Pedrosa. Published by Frontiers Media.


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