Aquatic Health Benefits Bulletin

NSPF provides a monthly Aquatic Health Benefits Bulletin (AHBB), each focusing on a different topic area: athletes and non-impaired, cardiopulmonary & systemic, neurological & cognitive musculoskeletal, pediatric, and women's health. The monthly posts include 300-500 vignettes written in laymen's terms and the corresponding scientific references. The bibliography is organized by a certain topic area with links to publications that are available online. The AHBB is a great resource for the pool and spa industry influencers who want to help build demand for pools, spas, and aquatic facilities by promoting the benefits of water immersion and activity. It is also a perfect way for aquatic leaders to help promote healthier living and reduce drownings.

 

May 2018: Alzheimer's Disease & Brain Health

Spotlight on Aquatics & Alzheimer's Disease & Brain Health

Content courtesy of the National Swimming Pool Foundation 

RECENT PUBLICATIONS WHICH SHOW HOW WATER WORKS FOR ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE & BRAIN HEALTH

It was not long ago that it was thought that once humans passed childhood, the brain was fixed, unalterable. We believed that any damage to the “central” nervous system would result in permanent disability since the brain was incapable of birthing new pathways. It appears that we were wrong.

There are certain areas of the brain which are truly able to regenerate after insult or injury. And – lo and behold – exercise is one of the keys to regeneration. How this happens is quite magical. Exercise acts like a catalyst, stimulating nerve cells to begin behaving like stem cells. In addition, exercise in water creates extra blood flow to the brain. The combination of exercise plus immersion appears to be especially effective at increasing the brain’s baseline activity, as well as stimulating neurogenesis and plasticity. 

What is plasticity? When specific pathways in the brain are blocked or damaged, the brain is capable of making use of alternate means of circumventing those blockages. This results in new pathways. It also increases brain’s myelin sheathing, thus enhancing transmission speed of electrical impulses and improving its function.

It’s true that the act of performing physical exercise can improve brain health. But all exercise is not created equally. Research has shown performing dual tasks (a cognitive task coupled with a physical task) may be just the ticket when working out to improve cognition. So instead of just “exercising”, encourage clients to problem-solve how to move in the water. For instance, instead of demonstrating an exercise and counting down the reps until the exercise is finished, a client can be asked to “show me how you could get over this box” or “under that rope”. Another useful tool is to couple a physical task (like balancing on one leg) with a cognitive one (like describing how to drive from work to home). 

Whatever exercises are chosen, they are often best performed in the pool. The hydrostatic pressure coupled with the protective features of buoyancy make aquatic exercise an amazingly versatile tool for brain health.

RECENT ANNOTATED REFERENCES

 Ayán, C., Carvalho, P., Varela, S., & Cancela, J. M. (2017). Effects of Water-Based Exercise Training on the Cognitive Function and Quality of Life of Healthy Adult Women. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, Epub ahead of print. http://doi.org/10.1123/jpah.2017-0036

Barassi G, Bellomo RG, Ancona E, Trivisano L, & Saggini R. (2017). The role of water environment rehabilitation in patients with neurological and cognitive disabilites. Biophilia, (1). Retrieved from https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/ibra/2017/1/2017_28/_pdf

Becker, B., Lynch, S., & Becker BE, L. S. (2017). Case Report: Aquatic Therapy and End-Stage Dementia. Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 10(4), 437–441. https://www.pmrjournal.org/article/S1934-1482(17)30009-6/fulltext

Bressel, E., Louder, T. J., Raikes, A. C., Alphonsa, S., & Kyvelidou, A. (2018). Water Immersion Affects Episodic Memory and Postural Control in Healthy Older Adults. Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy, Epub ahead of print. http://doi.org/10.1519/JPT.0000000000000192

Carral, J. M. C., Curras, D. M., Pérez, C. A., Suárez, M. H. V., Carral, J. M. C., Curras, D. M., … Suárez, M. H. V. (2017). Effects of two programmes of combined Land-Based and Water-Based exercise on the cognitive function and fitness levels of healthy older adults. Motriz: Revista de Educação Física, 23(2). http://doi.org/10.1590/s1980-6574201700020011

Fedor, A., Garcia, S., & Gunstad, J. (2015). The Effects of a Brief, Water-Based Exercise Intervention on Cognitive Function in Older Adults. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology : The Official Journal of the National Academy of Neuropsychologists, 30(2), acv001-. http://doi.org/10.1093/arclin/acv001

Forbes, D., & Forbes, S. (2014). Exercise programs for people with dementia. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 132(3), 195–196. Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD006489.pub4/full

Grosse, S. J. (2011). Water Learning: Tapping the Educational Potential of Aquatics. International Journal of Aquatic Research {&} Education, 5(1), 42–50. article. Retrieved from https://scholarworks.bgsu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1155&context=i...

Henwood, T., Neville, C., Baguley, C., Clifton, K., & Beattie, E. (2015). Physical and functional implications of aquatic exercise for nursing home residents with dementia. Geriatric Nursing, 36(1), 35–39. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.gerinurse.2014.10.009

Henwood, T., Neville, C., & Baguley, C. (2017). Aquatic exercise for residential aged care adults with dementia: benefits and barriers to participation. International Psychogeriatrics, 29(9), 1439–1449. Retrieved from https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/international-psychogeriatrics/article/aquatic exercise-for-residential-aged-care-adults-with-dementia-benefits-and-barriers-to-participation/7AB4D17F7BBED323B9FC1446BD7D6C28

Lee, I. H., Seo, E. J., Lim, I. I., Seo, E. J., & Lim, I. I. (2014). Effects of aquatic exercise and CES treatment on the changes of cognitive function, BDNF, IGF-1, and VEGF of persons with intellectual disabilities. JENB (Journal of Exercise Nutrition & Biochemistry), 18(1), 19–24. http://doi.org/10.5717/jenb.2014.18.1.19

Maeshima, E., Okumura, Y., Tatsumi, J., Tomokane, S., & Ikeshima, A. (2017). Cognitive function in middle-aged and older adults participating in synchronized swimming-exercise. Journal of Physical Therapy Science, 29(1), 148–151. Retrieved from https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jpts/29/1/29_jpts-2016-793/_article...

Myers, K. W., Capek, D., Shill, H., & Sabbagh, M. (2013). Aquatic therapy and Alzheimer’s Disease. Annals of Long-Term Care, 21(5), 36–41. Retrieved from https://www.scopus.com/inward/record.uri?eid=2-s2.0-84882293133&partnerI...

Neville, C., Henwood, T., Beattie, E., & Fielding, E. (2013). Exploring the effect of aquatic exercise on behaviour and psychological well-being in people with moderate to severe dementia: A pilot study of the Watermemories Swimming Club. Australasian Journal on Ageing, 33(2), 124–127. http://doi.org/10.1111/ajag.12076

Neville, C., Clifton, K., Henwood, T., Beattie, E., & McKenzie, M.-A. (2013). Watermemories: a swimming club for adults with dementia. Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 39(2), 21–25. http://doi.org/10.3928/00989134-20130109-03

Sato, D., Yamashiro, K., Onishi, H., Shimoyama, Y., Yoshida, T., & Maruyama, A. (2012). The effect of water immersion on short-latency somatosensory evoked potentials in human. Bmc Neuroscience, 13, 13. https://bmcneurosci.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-2202-13-13

Sato, D., & Yamashiro, K. (2015). Whole-hand water flow stimulation increases motor cortical excitability: a study of transcranial magnetic stimulation and movement-related cortical potentials. Journal of Neurophysiology, 113(3). Retrieved from http://jn.physiology.org/content/113/3/822.abstract

Sato, D., Seko, C., Hashitomi, T., Sengoku, Y., & Nomura, T. (2015). Differential effects of water-based exercise on the cognitive function in independent elderly adults. Aging Clinical and Experimental Research, 27(2), 149–59. http://doi.org/10.1007/s40520-014-0252-9

Schaefer, S. Y., Louder, T. J., Foster, S., Bressel, E., & Bressel, Eadric2, 3, 4. (2015). Effect of Water Immersion on Dual-task Performance: Implications for Aquatic Therapy. Physiotherapy Research International : The Journal for Researchers and Clinicians in Physical Therapy, 21(3), 147. http://doi.org/10.1002/pri.1628

Schilling, M. Lou, Coles, R., Simons, C., & Frost, R. (2017). Perceived benefits of an aquatic activity program on the behaviors of those with memory impairments: A pilot study. Activities, Adaptation & Aging, 1–13. http://doi.org/10.1080/01924788.2017.1406837

Sherlock, L. A., Guyton Hornsby, J. W., Rye, J., & Hornsby, W. G. (2013). The Physiological Effects of Aquatic Exercise on Cognitive Function in the Aging Population. International Journal of Aquatic Research & Education, 7(3), 266–278. Retrieved from https://scholarworks.bgsu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1062&context=i...

Sherlock, L. A. (2014). Effects of Aquatic Exercise on Executive Function in the Aging Population. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses. Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/openview/76b1868d549d68553cc64f6319456e98/1?...

Tilden, V. P., Thompson, S. A., Gajewski, B. J., Buescher, C. M., Bott, M. J., Vitaliano, P. P., … Larson, E. B. (2013). Aquatic exercise for residential aged care adults with dementia: benefits and barriers to participation. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, 14(1), 25–28. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28473006