Acute effects of exercise on cognition in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Charles F. Emery*, Vanessa J. Honn, David J. Frid, Kim R. Lebowitz, Philip T. Diaz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Prior data indicate positive effects of long-term exercise interventions for cognitive functioning among patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), but no prior studies have examined acute effects of individual bouts of exercise among patients with COPD. This study evaluated acute effects of exercise on cognitive performance in a community-based sample of patients with COPD and a healthy control group, matched by age, sex, and education. Twenty-nine older adults with COPD (mean age = 67.8 yr [± 7.4]; range: 56-85; 17 women) and 29 matched healthy control subjects (mean age = 68.7 yr [± 6.0]) were recruited from the community. All participants completed a 20-min exercise session in which they exercised to a peak level and a video control condition in which they were provided information about exercise and cholesterol. Conditions were separated by a 1-wk interval, and order of participation in conditions was randomly assigned. Assessments of cognitive performance (Trail Making Test, Digit Symbol, Verbal Fluency, Digit Span, Finger Tapping) were administered before and after each condition (exercise and video). Among patients with COPD, acute exercise was associated with improved performance on the Verbal Fluency test, a measure of verbal processing, suggesting that acute exercise may benefit aspects of cognitive performance among patients with COPD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1624-1627
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - Nov 1 2001


  • Aerobic exercise
  • Cognition
  • COPD

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Acute effects of exercise on cognition in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this