Saturday, December 7, 2013

Efficacy of selected treadmill training programme on oxidative stress in adolescents with Down syndrome

from the Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal and the World Health Organiziation:

ABSTRACT The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy of an electronic treadmill exercise training programme on malondialdehyde (MDA) as a marker for lipid peroxidation and the antioxidant enzyme glutathione peroxidase (GPx) in adolescents with Down syndrome. The study was carried out on 30 adolescent males with Down syndrome, ranging in age from 15 to 18 years, with 30 healthy subjects as a control group. Clinical examination, anthropometric measurements and determination of GPx activity and MDA before and after exercise were done. A treadmill training programme was performed for 12 weeks. Our data showed a significant increase in GPx activity and decrease in serum level of MDA in Down syndrome individuals after treadmill exercise for 3 months. Exercise promotion for adolescents with Down syndrome requires attention to motivators and facilitators of exercise adherence as it may limit risk of increased neurological consequences associated with oxidative stress and improve quality of life.


The increase in life expectancy of the general population has resulted in an increasing number of elderly adults, including adults with Down syndrome who currently have a life expectancy of about 50 years. Individuals with Down syndrome have been described as having high levels of oxidative stress [1]. Research on this topic may be of great interest since oxidative damage has been proposed as a pathogenic mechanism of atherosclerosis, cell ageing, neurodegeneration [2], carcinogenic events and immunological disorders in this population [3].

Oxidative stress is a term used to describe the effect of oxidation in which an abnormal level of reactive oxygen species, such as free radicals (e.g. hydroxyl, superoxide radicals) or non-radical (e.g. lipid peroxide), lead to damage of specific molecules with consequential injury to cells or tissues [4]. An increase in oxidative stress in individuals with Down syndrome may cause adverse effects in cell membranes through the oxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids [5]. Decreased glutathione peroxidase (GPx) has been observed in the brain of those with Down syndrome, which may be the cause of neurotransmitter impairment [6]. GPx plays an important role in preventing peroxide accumulation in cells and in subsequently preventing lipid peroxide formation; it may have an important role in protection from progression of neurobiological abnormalities within cells of individuals with Down syndrome [5].
The aim of this study was to determine the efficacy of a treadmill training programme on oxidative stress in adolescents with Down syndrome.

Thirty clinically healthy subjects, age and sex matched to the Down syndrome group, were included in the study; they did not receive any programme of training. Thirty males with Down syndrome ranging in age from 15 to 18 years were selected from the Children with Special Needs outpatient clinic of the National Research Centre, Cairo. All patients were trainable and could walk freely. They were able to understand and follow verbal commands and instructions. The study and the informed consent procedures were approved by the Ethics Review Committee of the National Research Centre.

A regular 12-week treadmill exercise programme is highly recommended for adolescents with Down syndrome as it improves the level of the antioxidant enzyme GPx and decreases the level of the lipid peroxidation marker MDA. Exercise at this intensity may decrease risk factors for diseases associated with oxidative stress in this population. Further studies are recommended to detect the effect of treadmill training on oxidative stress in different age groups of individuals with Down syndrome.

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