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Epilepsy & Behavior 22 (2011) 718–722

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Epilepsy & Behavior
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Physiological and electroencephalographic responses to acute exhaustive physical
exercise in people with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy
Cristiano de Lima a, Rodrigo Luiz Vancini b, Ricardo Mario Arida b, Laura M.F.F. Guilhoto c,Marco Túlio de Mello a, Amaury Tavares Barreto a, Mirian Salvadori Bittar Guaranha c,
Elza Márcia Targas Yacubian c, Sergio Tufik a,⁎

Departamento de Psicobiologia, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, São Paulo (SP), Brazil
Departamento de Fisiologia, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, São Paulo (SP), Brazil
Departamento de Neurologia, Unidade de Pesquisa e Tratamento das Epilepsias daUniversidade Federal de São Paulo, São Paulo (SP), Brazil



Article history:
Received 20 June 2011
Revised 2 August 2011
Accepted 26 August 2011
Available online 4 October 2011
Physical activity
Resting metabolic rate

Although the available evidence suggests that exercise may positively affectepilepsy, whether this effect is
applicable to different types of epilepsy has not been established. Physiological responses during rest,
acute physical effort, and a recovery period were studied by concomitant analysis of cerebral electric activity
using EEGs in subjects with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME) and healthy controls. In addition, level of
habitual physical activity, body composition,and 1 week of actigraphy monitoring data were evaluated.
Twenty-four subjects (12 with JME and 12 controls) participated in this study. Compared with the control
group, the JME group had a significantly lower V O2 at rest (13.3%) and resting metabolic rate (15.6%). The
number of epileptiform discharges in the JME group was significantly reduced during the recovery period
(72%) compared with theresting state. There were no significant differences between the JME and control
groups in behavioral outcomes and sleep parameters evaluated by actigraphy monitoring. The positive
findings of our study strengthen the evidence for the benefits of physical exercise for people with JME.
© 2011 Published by Elsevier Inc.

1. Introduction
In the last five decades, there has been much research onthe relationship between epilepsy and physical exercise. Positive effects
of exercise on seizure frequency and severity [1,2] have been demonstrated, suggesting that exercise may have a protective effect on
people with epilepsy [3,4]. Information concerning the acute [5,6] and
chronic [1,2,7,8] physiological responses to exercise in individuals
with epilepsy have revealed poor cardiorespiratoryfitness [6,9,10]
and lower levels of strength [7,8] and flexibility [7]. In contrast, it has
been shown that physical exercise can induce positive effects such as
a decrease in epileptiform discharges during physical effort and the recovery period, compared with the resting state [3,6,11], as well as diminished predisposition to and better control of seizures [1,3,12–14].
From an experimentalpoint of view, these effects have also been
observed in animal models of temporal lobe epilepsy [15–20]. For instance, in rats with epilepsy, physical exercise retarded the development of amygdala kindling [15], reduced seizure frequency [16], and

⁎ Corresponding author at: Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP), Rua
Botucatu, 862, 1° andar, 04023–062 São Paulo, SP, Brazil. Fax: + 55 11 55725092.
E-mail address: (S. Tufik).
1525-5050/$ – see front matter © 2011 Published by Elsevier Inc.

promoted positive plastic changes in the hippocampal formation such
as decreased CA1 hyperresponsiveness [18] and prominent changes in
the staining of parvalbumin, a calcium-binding protein, in the dentate
gyrus [19].
Despite the...
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