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Aguirre L.E.,New Mexico VA Health Care System | Aguirre L.E.,Biomedical Research Institute of New Mexico | Villareal D.T.,New Mexico VA Health Care System | Villareal D.T.,Baylor College of Medicine
Nestle Nutrition Institute Workshop Series | Year: 2015

Longitudinal studies demonstrate that regular physical exercise extends longevity and reduces the risk of physical disability. Decline in physical activity with aging is associated with a decrease in exercise capacity that predisposes to frailty. The frailty syndrome includes a lowered activity level, poor exercise tolerance, and loss of lean body and muscle mass. Poor exercise tolerance is related to aerobic endurance. Aerobic endurance training can significantly improve peak oxygen consumption by ∼ 10-15%. Resistance training is the best way to increase muscle strength and mass. Although the increase in muscle mass in response to resistance training may be attenuated in frail older adults, resistance training can significantly improve muscle strength, particularly in institutionalized patients, by ∼ 110%. Because both aerobic and resistance training target specific components of frailty, studies combining aerobic and resistance training provide the most promising evidence with respect to successfully treating frailty. At the molecular level, exercise reduces frailty by decreasing muscle inflammation, increasing anabolism, and increasing muscle protein synthesis. More studies are needed to determine which exercises are best suited, most effective, and safe for this population. Based on the available studies, an individualized multicomponent exercise program that includes aerobic activity, strength exercises, and flexibility is recommended to treat frailty. © 2015 Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (US Government).

Stricker N.H.,Psychology Service | Stricker N.H.,Boston University | Keller J.E.,Biomedical Research Institute of New Mexico | Castillo D.T.,Psychology Service | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Traumatic Stress | Year: 2015

Neurocognitive problems are common with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and are important to understand because of their association with the success of PTSD treatment and its potential neural correlates. To our knowledge, this is the first neurocognitive study in an all-female U.S. veteran sample, some of whom had PTSD. We examined neurocognitive performance and assessed whether learning deficits, common in PTSD, were associated with executive functioning. Veterans with PTSD (n = 56) and without (n = 53) were evaluated for psychiatric and neurocognitive status. The PTSD group had a lower estimated IQ (d = 0.53) and performed more poorly on all neurocognitive domains (d range = 0.57-0.88), except verbal retention (d = 0.04). A subset of the 2 groups that were matched on IQ and demographics similarly demonstrated poorer performance for the PTSD group on all neurocognitive domains (d range = 0.52-0.79), except verbal retention (d = 0.15). Within the PTSD group, executive functioning accounted for significant variance in verbal learning over and above IQ and processing speed (ΔR2 = .06), as well as depression (ΔR2 = .07) and PTSD severity (ΔR2 = .06). This study demonstrated that female veterans with PTSD performed more poorly than females without PTSD on several neurocognitive domains, including verbal learning, processing speed, and executive functioning. Replication of these results using a control group of veterans with more similar trauma exposure, history of mild traumatic brain injury, and psychiatric comorbidities would solidify these findings. Copyright © 2015 International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.

Haaland K.Y.,University of New Mexico | Sadek J.R.,University of New Mexico | Keller J.E.,Biomedical Research Institute of New Mexico | Castillo D.T.,New Mexico Veterans Affairs Healthcare System
Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society | Year: 2016

Background: The influence of psychotherapy on neurocognition in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has not been examined methodically. This is despite evidence that pre-treatment learning and memory has been associated with treatment success and that executive function theories emphasize weak executive functions (especially inhibition/switching) are associated with PTSD. Objectives: To determine (1) if higher pre-treatment learning/memory, inhibition/switching, or both predict treatment success; and (2) if treatment success is associated with specific improvement in inhibition/switching and not learning/memory or working memory, another aspect of executive function. Methods: Pre-treatment neurocognition and neurocognitive changes (inhibition/switching, learning/memory, working memory) were examined in female veterans with PTSD. They were evaluated before and after 16-weeks of group psychotherapy for PTSD that included three counterbalanced modules (cognitive restructuring therapy, exposure therapy, skills training) with fidelity checks for therapist adherence. Results: Only pre-treatment learning/memory predicted better treatment outcome. Treatment success was associated with improvement in inhibition/switching only, even after controlling for mild traumatic brain injury, and changes in depressive symptoms, working memory, and learning/memory. Conclusions: Our finding that learning/memory predicted treatment success is consistent with previous studies. We extended these studies by showing that the effect was restricted to learning/memory, which is contrary to the executive function theory of PTSD. In contrast, the fact that only inhibition/switching significantly improved with better treatment success is consistent with its potential importance in maintaining PTSD symptoms. Future research should determine whether inhibition/switching abilities are a risk for development and maintenance of PTSD or whether such abilities have a broader reciprocal relationship with PTSD symptom change. (JINS, 2016, 22, 643-651) Copyright © The International Neuropsychological Society 2016.

Armamento-Villareal R.,Michael bakey Va Medical Center Medvamc And The Center For Translational Research On Inflammatory Diseases Ctrid At The Medvamc | Armamento-Villareal R.,Baylor College of Medicine | Aguirre L.E.,New Mexico VA Health Care System | Qualls C.,Biomedical Research Institute of New Mexico | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging | Year: 2016

Objective: Obesity-associated hypogonadism is hypothesized to be due to the suppressive effect of high estradiol (from an increase in aromatase activity present in the abundant adipose tissue) on the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal unit resulting in low testosterone production. Although weight loss has been found to be effective in reducing estradiol and raising testosterone levels in studies of younger men, its effect in frail, obese older men is understudied. Thus, the objective of this study was to determine the effect of lifestyle intervention on hormone levels in frail, obese older men. Design: Randomized controlled trial of lifestyle intervention in frail, obese older men (≥65 yo) for 1 year. Setting: University hospital. Methods: Forty frail, obese elderly men were randomized, for a 52-week study, to any of the following treatment groups: (1) control group, (2) diet-induced weight loss group (diet group), (3) exercise training group (exercise group), and (4) diet-induced weight loss and exercise training group (diet.exercise group). The objective was to achieve a ∼10 % weight loss at 6 months and maintain this weight for an additional 6 months. Physical function was assessed by the modified physical performance testing (modified PPT). Estradiol was measured by radioimmunoassay, testosterone by automated immunoassay, and sex hormone-binding globulin by enzyme-linked immunoassay. Results: After 12 months of intervention, diet alone resulted in a weight loss of −10.1 ± 1.9 kg in the diet group and −9.1 ± 0.9 kg in the diet-exercise group. This resulted in a significant decrease (both p<0.05) in total estradiol compared to baseline among subjects in the diet (−2.5 ± 1.3 pg/ml) and diet-exercise group (−2.2 ± 4.0 pg/ml). Free estradiol index also significantly decreased (both p <0.05) in both the diet (−0.39 ± 0.14 pmol/nmol) and diet-exercise (−0.52 ± 0.12 pmol/nmol) group. Total testosterone significantly increased (p<0.05) in response to diet (71.0 ± 21.0 ng/dl) and diet-exercise (49.9 ± 15.5 pg/ml) resulting in values of 287.0 ± 28.1 ng/dl in the diet and 317.6 ± 33.1 ng/dl in the diet-exercise group. However, because there was a significant increase in sex hormone-binding globulin levels in both the diet and diet-exercise groups, free testosterone index and the changes in free testosterone index were not significant compared to baseline. Regardless of changes in hormonal levels, patients in the diet, exercise, and diet-exercise groups experienced significant improvements in the modified PPT from baseline. Conclusion: Weight loss from lifestyle intervention resulted in significant decreases in total and free estradiol levels in frail, obese older men, but this did not result in a clinically important increase in total testosterone nor a significant increase in free testosterone. Thus, alternative forms of treatment in addition to lifestyle intervention may be necessary to improve the hormonal profile among these patients. Nevertheless, whether further improvement in hormonal profile would result in better physical performance than what can be achieved by lifestyle alone in these subjects remains uncertain. © 2016, Serdi and Springer-Verlag France.

Aguirre L.E.,New Mexico VA Health Care System | Aguirre L.E.,Biomedical Research Institute of New Mexico | Colleluori G.,Biomedical University of Rome | Colleluori G.,Baylor College of Medicine | And 13 more authors.
European Journal of Endocrinology | Year: 2015

Objective: Because the aromatase enzyme catalyzes the conversion of testosterone to estradiol (E2), the activity of this enzyme could be important in the musculoskeletal health of men with low testosterone. The objective of the present study is to determine the influence of aromatase activity on the bone mineral density (BMD) and body composition of patients with hypogonadism. Design: Cross-sectional study. Methods: The baseline data of 90 patients between 40 and 74 years old who participated in a genetic study of response to testosterone therapy in men with low testosterone (i.e., <300 ng/dl) were analyzed. BMD and body composition were measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Serum testosterone was measured by automated immunoassay, E2 was measured by ultrasensitive enzyme immunoassay, and sex hormone-binding globulin was measured by enzyme immunoassay. Results: Men in the highest tertile of E2 to testosterone ratio (E2:T) had the highest spine BMD (P≤0.037), highest truncal fat (P=0.046), and lowest truncal lean body mass (P=0.045). A similar pattern was observed in the upper extremities; that is, fat mass significantly increased (P=0.047), whereas lean mass significantly decreased (P=0.034) with increasing E2 :T tertiles. Conclusion: The present findings suggest that in men with hypogonadism, aromatase activity could be an important determinant of musculoskeletal health. Men with high aromatase activity are able to maintain a higher BMD despite low circulating testosterone, but they have lower lean and higher truncal fat mass as compared to those with lower aromatase activity. © 2015 European Society of Endocrinology.

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