Center for Cardiopulmonary Research

Akron, OH, United States

Center for Cardiopulmonary Research

Akron, OH, United States
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Stanek K.M.,Kent State University | Stanek K.M.,Center for Cardiopulmonary Research | Gunstad J.,Kent State University | Gunstad J.,Center for Cardiopulmonary Research | And 12 more authors.
International Journal of Neuroscience | Year: 2011

Cognitive impairment is common in persons with cardiovascular disease (CVD). Cardiac rehabilitation (CR) improves many aspects of CVD linked to cognitive impairment. The current study explored whether CR may improve cognitive function. Potential mechanisms for cognitive changes were also examined through exploratory analyses, including changes in cardiovascular fitness and cerebral blood flow. Fifty-one older adults with CVD underwent neuropsychological assessment at baseline and discharge from a 12-week CR program. Cardiovascular fitness (i.e., metabolic equivalents METs) was estimated from a symptom-limited volitional stress test. Transcranial doppler quantified mean cerebral blood flow velocity and pulsatility indexes for the middle cerebral artery and anterior cerebral artery (ACA). Repeated measures ANOVA showed improvements in global cognition, attention-executive-psychomotor function, and memory. Exploratory analyses revealed improvement in METs and changes in ACA flow velocity, but only improvement in METs was related to improved verbal recall. CVD patients exhibited improvements in multiple cognitive domains following a 12-week CR program, suggesting that cognitive impairment is modifiable in this population. Although other studies are needed to elucidate underlying mechanisms, exploratory analyses suggest that cognitive improvements may be better explained by physiological processes other than improved cardiovascular fitness and cerebral blood flow. © 2011 Informa Healthcare USA, Inc.


Spitznagel M.B.,Kent State University | Potter V.,Center for Cardiopulmonary Research | Miller L.A.,Kent State University | Roberts Miller A.N.,Kent State University | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing | Year: 2013

Background: Reduced ability to regulate emotion is exhibited in depressed individuals as well as patients with neurocognitive change. Given that patients with cardiovascular disease (CVD) often exhibit both cognitive and mood changes, these could, in combination, lead to increased volatility of emotion. Objective: The current study examined the association between ability to regulate emotion, depressive symptoms, and cognitive function in a sample of patients with CVD. Methods: Ninety-one CVD patients referred for outpatient stress testing completed brief cognitive testing and self-report measures of emotion regulation and depressive symptoms. Results: Hierarchical multiple regression analyses revealed that depressive symptoms (P < .001) and executive function (P < .05) independently contribute to emotion regulation. The interaction between these variables demonstrates that elevated depressive symptoms and decreased executive function predict increased emotion dysregulation. Conclusion: Findings suggest that in combination, elevated depressive symptoms and executive dysfunction contribute to poorer ability to regulate emotion in patients with CVD. Given the prevalence of depression and cognitive change in this population, these findings underscore the importance of clinician awareness of these issues in this population and suggest clinical implications for treatment of mental health issues, especially emotion regulation, in this population. © 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

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