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Physical Activity and Depressive Symptoms Interact to Predict Executive Functioning Among Community-Dwelling Older Adults

Physical Activity and Depressive Symptoms Interact to Predict Executive Functioning Among Community-Dwelling Older Adults

Experimental Aging Research 41(5): 534-545

Physical activity is beneficial for the executive functioning (EF) of older adults, but may be particularly protective of EF when they are cognitively vulnerable, such as during depressive episodes. Intervention studies support more potent effects of physical activity on EF among clinically depressed older adults, although these results may have limited generalizability to the daily mood and physical activity of healthy, community-dwelling older adults. The current study aimed to test whether physical activity among older adults was more protective of EF during periods of cognitive vulnerability due to mildly elevated depressive symptoms. Longitudinal data from 150 generally healthy, community-dwelling older adults were collected semiannually and analyzed with multilevel modeling. Physical activity was more protective of EF within individuals during periods of relatively elevated depressive symptoms. The power of physical activity to protect EF during periods of cognitive vulnerability may extend to community-dwelling older adults with nonclinical levels of depressive symptoms.

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Accession: 058551908

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 26524235

DOI: 10.1080/0361073x.2015.1085741

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