Several interesting clinically relevant articles highlight our journal’s first issue of the new year. Participation in physical activity and exercise improves concentration, and reading and mathematics achievement, as well as inhibitory control in healthy children. In this month’s journal, Choi et al. extend those findings. Those investigators assessed the effects of three 90-minute aerobic exercise sessions per week on clinical symptoms and associated brain activity in adolescents with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). As adjuvant therapy for ADHD, this activity increased the effectiveness of methylphenidate in reducing clinical symptoms as well as perseverative errors, and increasing brain activity within the right frontal cortex in response to working memory stimulation. To accompany this report, we highlight a prior, highly cited publication by Coe et al. [Effect of physical education and activity levels on academic achievement in children. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2006;38(8):1515-9]. (Please note that all MSSE articles are now freely available 24 months after publication.)
On another clinically relevant topic, Jordan et al. performed hamstrings/quadriceps strength assessments in elite Alpine ski racers who had previous anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR). Even though they had returned to competition, the ACLR limb demonstrated significant hamstring and quadriceps strength deficits. The authors recommend that measures of quadriceps and hamstrings maximal strength and explosive strength should be continued over long postsurgical periods and even after full return to ski racing in ACLR skiers. As a complement to this article, I recommend [Hiemstra et al. Knee strength deficits after hamstring tendon and patellar tendon anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2000;32(8):1472-9].
Finally, both women and men with uncomplicated type 2 diabetes (T2D) have a reduced maximal and submaximal exercise capacity. However, a study by Regensteiner et al. in this month’s issue reveals that premenopausal women with T2D have a greater reduction in peak exercise capacity compared to men with T2D in relation to nondiabetic counterparts of similar weight and age. These abnormalities were seen in conjunction with findings suggesting a more impaired vascular function in women than men with T2D, but in the absence of resting abnormalities in cardiac function in both sexes. VO2peak and mortality are strongly and inversely associated. Therefore, sex disparities observed in exercise capacity among people with T2D suggest a possible rationale for the increased CV morbidity and mortality observed in women compared to men with uncomplicated T2D. Importantly, these data point to the importance of identifying the presence of sex differences which then leads to better sex-specific methods of prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.
L. Bruce Gladden