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Impact of increasing physical activity on cognitive functioning in breast cancer survivors: Rationale and study design of Memory & Motion.

  • Author(s): Hartman, Sheri J
  • Natarajan, Loki
  • Palmer, Barton W
  • Parker, Barbara
  • Patterson, Ruth E
  • Sears, Dorothy D
  • et al.

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Many breast cancer survivors experience problems with cognitive functioning that can persist years after treatment. Increasing physical activity has been shown to improve cognitive functioning in healthy and cognitively impaired adults, but has not yet been tested in cancer survivors. The primary aim of this randomized controlled trial is to examine the effects of a 3-month physical activity intervention compared to a waitlist Control arm on neuropsychological outcomes and subjective cognitive concerns in breast cancer survivors.Eighty sedentary breast cancer survivors, self-reporting difficulties with cognition, will be randomized into an Exercise arm or Control arm. The Exercise arm includes an activity tracker (i.e., a Fitbit), phone calls, plus tailored and non-tailored email content. The Control arm will receive emails on women's health topics on the same schedule as the Exercise arm. Assessments conducted at baseline and 3 months include: neuropsychological testing, cognitive concerns and other aspects of quality of life, and 7 days of a hip-worn accelerometer. Participants will also provide fasting blood draws to assess brain-derived neurotropic factor, Insulin-like growth factor 1, insulin resistance, and C-reactive protein. Primary and secondary outcomes are changes in neuropsychological testing and cognitive concerns. Biomarkers will be examined to further understand the underlying relationship between physical activity and cognition.The Memory & Motion study is designed to test whether increasing physical activity can improve cognitive functioning in breast cancer survivors. Results from this study could be used to guide development of interventions to improve cognitive functioning in breast cancer survivors.

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