A single link to the first track to allow the export script to build the search page
  • Addiction, Drugs
  • Information from Lay-Language Summaries is Embargoed Until the Conclusion of the Scientific Presentation

    217—Cognition and Behavior: Cognitive Development

    Sunday, November 10, 2013, 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

    217.08: Foetal brain development is influenced by maternal exercise during pregnancy

    Location: 25A

    ">*E. LABONTE-LEMOYNE, D. CURNIER, D. ELLEMBERG;
    Kinesiology, Univ. of Montreal, Montreal, QC, Canada

    Abstract Body: PURPOSE: Accumulating evidence suggests that an active lifestyle is beneficial for cognition in children, adults and the elderly. Recently, studies using the rat animal model found that maternal exercise during pregnancy has a beneficial influence on the development of the foetal brain (i.e., increased hippocampal neurogenesis) that ultimately leads to functional changes for the newborn rat pup (i.e., better memory and learning) (Akhavan et al., 2008). The aim of the present study was to verify if in humans an active lifestyle during pregnancy has an impact on the newborn's brain.
    METHODS: Women joined the study in the first trimester of their pregnancy and were randomly assigned to an active or a sedentary group. The active group was asked to exercise a minimum of 20 minutes, 3 times per week, at a minimal intensity of 55% of their maximal aerobic capacity. The sedentary group did not exercise. The effect of exercise during pregnancy on the newborn's brain was investigated 8 - 12 days post partum by means of the mismatch negativity (MMN), a neurophysiological brain potential that is associated with auditory sensory memory and measured with EEG.
    RESULTS: Active group performed an average of 117 minutes of moderate intensity structured exercise per week while sedentary group performed 12 minutes per week. The average difference wave for the MMN was calculated for all newborns. The grand averages show a positive wave peaking at 253ms for the babies born from the active mothers and at 209ms for those born from the sedentary mothers. Statistical analyses reveal that the area amplitude of the MMN is significantly lower at the electrode sites Pz (Z = 5.00, p = 0.01) and Fz (Z = 8.00, p = 0.04) for the babies born from the active mothers.
    A time-frequency analysis was performed on the MMN difference waves with wavelets. For most recording sites, a reduction in relative power for the delta band (0-4Hz) can be seen for the active group as opposed to the sedentary group. Further, a Fast Fourier Transform analysis indicates that compared to the sedentary group, the sleep recordings of the active group manifest a reduction in relative spectral power for the alpha band (7-15Hz) over the left temporal region.
    CONCLUSION: Exercise during pregnancy had an impact on the newborn’s brain. As suggested in previous studies (He et al., 2007), the positive MMN wave is associated with neuronal immaturity and it disappears by 4 months of age. Therefore, the positive wave with a smaller area amplitude in the active group suggests heightened maturity. To better understand the functional significance of our findings, children from this study will undergo developmental testing at age 1.

    Lay Language Summary: Our research indicates that exercise during pregnancy enhances the newborn child’s brain development. As little as 20 minutes of moderate exercise three times per week could have an impact on the child's entire life. While animal studies have shown similar results, this is the first randomized controlled trial in humans to objectively measure the impact of exercise during pregnancy directly on the newborn’s brain. We hope these results will guide public health interventions and research on brain plasticity. Most of all, we are optimistic that this will encourage women to change their health habits, given that the simple act of exercising during pregnancy could make a difference for their child’s future.
    Not so long ago, obstetricians would tell women to take it easy and rest during their pregnancy. Recently, the tides have turned and it is now commonly accepted that inactivity is actually a health concern. While being sedentary increases the risks of suffering complications during pregnancy, being active can ease post-partum recovery, make pregnancy more comfortable and reduce the risk of obesity in the children. Given that exercise has been demonstrated to be beneficial for the adult’s brain, we hypothesized that it could also be beneficial for the unborn child through the mother's actions.
    To verify this, starting at the beginning of their second trimester, women were randomly assigned to an exercise group or a sedentary group. Women in the exercise group had to perform at least 20 minutes of cardiovascular exercise three times per week at a moderate intensity, which should lead to at least a slight shortness of breath. Women in the sedentary group did not exercise. The brain activity of the newborns was assessed between the ages of 8 to 12 days, by means of electroencephalography, which enables the recording of the electrical activity of the brain. We used 124 soft electrodes placed on the infant's head and waited for the child to fall asleep on his or her mother's lap. We then measured auditory memory by means of the brain’s unconscious response to repeated and novel sounds. Our results show that the babies born from the mothers who were physically active have a more mature cerebral activation, suggesting that their brains developed more rapidly. We are in the process of evaluating the children’s cognitive, motor and language development at age 1 to verify if these differences are maintained.

    Information from Lay-Language Summaries is Embargoed Until the Conclusion of the Scientific Presentation

    217—Cognition and Behavior: Cognitive Development

    Sunday, November 10, 2013, 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

    217.08: Foetal brain development is influenced by maternal exercise during pregnancy

    Location: 25A

    ">*E. LABONTE-LEMOYNE, D. CURNIER, D. ELLEMBERG;
    Kinesiology, Univ. of Montreal, Montreal, QC, Canada

    Abstract Body: PURPOSE: Accumulating evidence suggests that an active lifestyle is beneficial for cognition in children, adults and the elderly. Recently, studies using the rat animal model found that maternal exercise during pregnancy has a beneficial influence on the development of the foetal brain (i.e., increased hippocampal neurogenesis) that ultimately leads to functional changes for the newborn rat pup (i.e., better memory and learning) (Akhavan et al., 2008). The aim of the present study was to verify if in humans an active lifestyle during pregnancy has an impact on the newborn's brain.
    METHODS: Women joined the study in the first trimester of their pregnancy and were randomly assigned to an active or a sedentary group. The active group was asked to exercise a minimum of 20 minutes, 3 times per week, at a minimal intensity of 55% of their maximal aerobic capacity. The sedentary group did not exercise. The effect of exercise during pregnancy on the newborn's brain was investigated 8 - 12 days post partum by means of the mismatch negativity (MMN), a neurophysiological brain potential that is associated with auditory sensory memory and measured with EEG.
    RESULTS: Active group performed an average of 117 minutes of moderate intensity structured exercise per week while sedentary group performed 12 minutes per week. The average difference wave for the MMN was calculated for all newborns. The grand averages show a positive wave peaking at 253ms for the babies born from the active mothers and at 209ms for those born from the sedentary mothers. Statistical analyses reveal that the area amplitude of the MMN is significantly lower at the electrode sites Pz (Z = 5.00, p = 0.01) and Fz (Z = 8.00, p = 0.04) for the babies born from the active mothers.
    A time-frequency analysis was performed on the MMN difference waves with wavelets. For most recording sites, a reduction in relative power for the delta band (0-4Hz) can be seen for the active group as opposed to the sedentary group. Further, a Fast Fourier Transform analysis indicates that compared to the sedentary group, the sleep recordings of the active group manifest a reduction in relative spectral power for the alpha band (7-15Hz) over the left temporal region.
    CONCLUSION: Exercise during pregnancy had an impact on the newborn’s brain. As suggested in previous studies (He et al., 2007), the positive MMN wave is associated with neuronal immaturity and it disappears by 4 months of age. Therefore, the positive wave with a smaller area amplitude in the active group suggests heightened maturity. To better understand the functional significance of our findings, children from this study will undergo developmental testing at age 1.

    Lay Language Summary: Our research indicates that exercise during pregnancy enhances the newborn child’s brain development. As little as 20 minutes of moderate exercise three times per week could have an impact on the child's entire life. While animal studies have shown similar results, this is the first randomized controlled trial in humans to objectively measure the impact of exercise during pregnancy directly on the newborn’s brain. We hope these results will guide public health interventions and research on brain plasticity. Most of all, we are optimistic that this will encourage women to change their health habits, given that the simple act of exercising during pregnancy could make a difference for their child’s future.
    Not so long ago, obstetricians would tell women to take it easy and rest during their pregnancy. Recently, the tides have turned and it is now commonly accepted that inactivity is actually a health concern. While being sedentary increases the risks of suffering complications during pregnancy, being active can ease post-partum recovery, make pregnancy more comfortable and reduce the risk of obesity in the children. Given that exercise has been demonstrated to be beneficial for the adult’s brain, we hypothesized that it could also be beneficial for the unborn child through the mother's actions.
    To verify this, starting at the beginning of their second trimester, women were randomly assigned to an exercise group or a sedentary group. Women in the exercise group had to perform at least 20 minutes of cardiovascular exercise three times per week at a moderate intensity, which should lead to at least a slight shortness of breath. Women in the sedentary group did not exercise. The brain activity of the newborns was assessed between the ages of 8 to 12 days, by means of electroencephalography, which enables the recording of the electrical activity of the brain. We used 124 soft electrodes placed on the infant's head and waited for the child to fall asleep on his or her mother's lap. We then measured auditory memory by means of the brain’s unconscious response to repeated and novel sounds. Our results show that the babies born from the mothers who were physically active have a more mature cerebral activation, suggesting that their brains developed more rapidly. We are in the process of evaluating the children’s cognitive, motor and language development at age 1 to verify if these differences are maintained.