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Monitoring Autonomic Nervous System Response after Sensory-Motor Stimulation Exercises by Using Heart Rate variability.

Bragin V., Chemodanova M., Bragin I., Polyak J, Slepchina I

Stress Relief Center, Brooklyn, NY, USA

Poster at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference on Prevention of Dementia Washington, D.C., USA. 2005: June  20-23  P1-388 (S209).

Background:   Recent data on brain plasticity gave the foundation to use more active  approach in dementia treatment options. One of them are brain stimulation exercises. Heart Rate Variability (HRV) represents a useful, objective tool to monitor autonomic nervous system involvement for these type of exercises.

Objective:  To examine HRV parameter changes after different types of sensory-motor stimulation exercises.

Method: 16 people participated in this study (9 male and 7 females). Among them, 7 were healthy subjects while 9   were medically ill patients with mild cognitive deficit (MMSE 23-26). Two different sets of mild physical exercises were developed with specific attention to the moments of touching  tennis balls  (exercises 1) or thigh area (exercises 2) by both hands. The length of the exercises ranged from 5 to 7 minutes. Five minute HRV monitoring was done right before and immediately after the exercises. An earlobe sensor and computerized analysis system were used to collect HRV data. The parameters used for analysis include: Heart Rate (HR), Standard Deviation (SDNN),  Total Power (TP,  overall autonomic activity), High Frequency (HF, parasympathetic autonomic activity), Low and Very Low Frequencies (LF, VLF, sympathetic autonomic activity), and  balance between  sympathetic and parasympathetic systems (LF/HF). Statistical analysis was done on SPSS.

Results: After the exercises, there were no changes in HR, HF, LF, VLF and LF/HF. At the same time TP and SDNN  increased in both types of exercises. For exercise 1, TP increased from 5.38 to 6.13 ms^2 (p<.043) and SDDN increased from 34.09 to 39.23 ms (P<.02). For exercise 2, TP increased from 6.41 to 6.92 ms^2  (p<.007) and SDNN increased from 41.64 to 52.99 ms (p<.023). Both sets of exercises were well tolerated.

Conclusion: Based on our data, there was an increase of overall autonomic activity (TP) and heart rate variability (SDNN) after both sets of exercises. HRV made it possible to monitor autonomic nervous system response after sensory-motor stimulation   exercises. Future research should be conducted to confirm these findings.