The Department of Kinesiology is committed to scholarship, service, and to providing: (1) an educational experience with the overriding objective of preparing undergraduate and graduate students to become effective educators and health and fitness professionals; and (2) a service program for all Augusta University students that encourages a sense of responsibility for one's own health by providing educational opportunities that encourage healthy lifestyle decisions. For more information visit http://www.augusta.edu/education/kns/.

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Recent Submissions

  • PIPER NIGRUM IN ALZHEIMER'S AND COGNITIVE DYSFUNCTION: A REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE

    Jones-Asgill, Michael; Department of Kinesiology and Health Science; College of Nursing; Langley-Brady, Dawn; Augusta University (2019-02-13)
    Every 65 seconds, someone in the U.S develops Alzheimer's dementia. Alzheimer's is a chronic brain disorder affecting approximately five million Americans. Alzheimer's is an irreversible form of dementia that progressively worsens memory and simple cognitive abilities. There is no known cure for Alzheimer's. Current treatment includes pharmacological and non-pharmacological approaches (e.g. aromatherapy). Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils from aromatic plants and is being explored in cognition studies.Piper nigrum or black pepper has cognitive-enhancing properties. The purpose of this project was to review the literature regarding the use of black pepper in Alzheimer's. PubMed, CINAHL, Ovid Medicine, and ProQuest databases were searched for peer-reviewed journal articles written in English and published since 2014 with the following keywords: Cognitive, essential oil,Piper nigrum, aromatherapy and Alzheimer's. Nine articles were found that met the literature review criteria three animal and six human studies. These studies established the effectiveness of black pepper essential oil for both improving function and reducing cognitive decline. These studies may open doors for aromatherapy research in Alzheimer's. Despite efficacy, the preferred administration method (inhalation or topical) is unclear.Piper nigrum essential oil can potentially change Alzheimer's patients disease trajectory and should be further studied.
  • THE EFFECTS OF ACUTE AND CHRONIC KETOSIS ON GOLF ACCURACY

    Blume, Grant; Department of Kinesiology and Health Science; Holland, Maleah; Augusta University (2019-02-13)
    Ketones, molecules produced as a byproduct of fat breakdown by the body, can be used as an alternate source of energy when glucose supplies are low. Several studies have shown that ketones may help with cognitive recovery and motor learning. This study examined the effects of both acute and chronic ketone supplementation on golf putting accuracy in middle-aged adults to determine if elevated circulating ketone levels improved accuracy. The results demonstrate no significant differences between the putting accuracy of the ketone group or placebo group. Data collection for this study will be continued to determine if a measurable difference can be seen with more data.
  • The Identification of Novel Genes in Normosmic Hypogonadotropic Hypogonadism (nHH)

    Smith, Hannah; College of Education; Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology; Layman, Lawrence; Augusta University (2019-02-13)
    Characterized by delayed or absent sexual development, idiopathic hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (IHH) is a disorder that includes the deficient production, secretion, or action of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). Producing neurons in the brain, GnRH directly controls sexual development during puberty. Misplacement of the GnRH producing neurons leads to hypogonadotropic hypogonadism, which is divided into two categories: Kallmann syndrome (KS) and normosmic IHH (nHH). While both KS and nIHH, defined as the absence or delay of puberty, low gonadotropins and sex steroids, are similar, KS also includes the absence or impairment of smell. Whole exome sequencing (WES) is used to examine protein-coding regions of the human genome in order to detect genetic variants that could be causative. Sanger sequencing is used to confirm variants identified by WES. Using WES and Sanger sequencing, we were able to identify new genetic variants within the nHH and KS patient populations. In this study, our goal was to identify pathogenic variants in known and novel nHH/KS genes, focusing efforts on rare, loss-of-function variants in: WDR11, GLI2, CTNNA1, ANKHD1, SEMA6A, PRRC2C, EHBP1, and RIF1 genes. This study broadens our understanding of pathogenic variants in known and novel IHH genes that may contribute to the disease phenotype.
  • The effects of acute and chronic ketosis on golf accuracy

    Blume, Grant; Department of Kinesiology (Augusta University, 2018-12)
    Exogenous ketones, a synthetic version of the ketones produced by the body as a byproduct of fat breakdown, provide more energy on a molecule by molecule basis than glucose and are produced as a supplement to possibly help neurological diseases and improve motor learning. In this study, Pruvit ketone supplement were used. The purpose of this study is to determine the effects of acute ketosis and of chronic ketosis with golf practice on putting accuracy. The hypothesis is that acute ketosis would not improve putting accuracy, but chronic ketosis would improve putting accuracy. Putting accuracy was tested in a fatigued state to increase reliance on the central nervous system. Participants included 8 individuals, aged 35-55, that were recreational golfers. The study was double-blinded; supplements were sealed in white packets with the label “A” or “B” to blind both the investigator collecting data and participants to the supplement in each packet. The grouping of participants for the study was randomized. Thefindings of the study show that neither acute ketosis nor chronic ketosis has a discernible (p >0.05) effect on putting accuracy.
  • Physiological Stress Levels on Cognitive Function

    Quon, Jonathan; Department of Kinesiology (Augusta University, 2018-12)
    Regular exercise has been proven to reduce insulin resistance, increase blood flow, release neurotransmitters, and lead to many more health and cognitive benefits. However, studies investigating the immediate effects of a physical stress or on cognitive functioning are limited. In theory, cognitive reactions could speed up immediately following exercise due to enhanced nutrient delivery via increased blood flow, or cognitive reactions could slow down immediately after exercise due to physiological fatigue. These contradicting theories create much interest and concern for those who need to be functioning at their full cognitive potential. For instance, should college students who are studying for large periods of time take breaks to exercise, or would exercise be harmful to their mental functioning? The purpose of my project is to test how cognitive function is affected immediately following exercise. I predict that lower intensity aerobic exercise will boost mental performance, whereas high intensity anaerobic exercise will decrease mental performance.
  • The association between fitness, metabolic levels, and cognitive performance in an older population

    Dojack, Amanda; Department of Kinesiology (Augusta University, 2018-05)
  • High glucose treated cells may lead to cellular senescence effecting function of bladder

    Vincent, Julie; Klee, Nicole; Webb, Clinton; Department of Physiology; College of Education; Klee, Nicole; Department of Physiology; Webb, Clinton; Augusta University (2018-02-12)
    Introduction: Diabetic bladder dysfunctioneffects 30-50% of all diabetespatientsand is characterized by symptoms of overactive and underactive bladder, which greatly effects quality of life.Diabetes is correlated with increased cellular senescence. Senescence is a physiologic phenomenon; however, chronic high levels can lead to tissue dysfunction. Multiple in vitrostudies have shown that high glucose exposure results in an increase in cellular senescent cells.The smooth muscle layer of the bladderis responsible for contraction and relaxation of the bladder; therefore, we hypothesize that primary bladder smooth muscle cells exposed to a high glucose environment will result in an increased number of cellular senescent cells.Methods:Rat primary BSMcells were incubated in normal glucose (4mM), high glucose (22mM), high mannitol (22mM), and bleomycin(+ control). Abeta-galactoside assay was utilized to visualize the presence of senescent cells.Results: Cells treated with high glucose exhibited increased cellular senescent cellscompared to both normal and high mannitol control. Conclusion: We conclude that high glucose exposure increases cellular senescence in primary bladder smooth muscle cells. An increased amount of cellular senescence within the smooth muscle layer of the bladder could contribute to bladder dysfunction as seen with diabetes.
  • EDUCATION AND FITNESS BENEFITS COGNITIVE PERFORMANCE IN AN OLDER AGE

    Dojack, Amanda; Schulte, Megahn; Meyers, Amos; Curry-McCoy, Tiana; Department of Kinesiology and Health Science; Department of Radiology; Holland, Angelia; Department of Kinesiology and Health Science; Augusta University (2018-02-12)
    Cognitive function and cardiovascular health often decline with age. Purpose: The relationship between cognitive performance and cardiovascular health in older versus younger men and women was examined. Methods: This cross-sectional study included 13 younger(18-35years old)and 10 older (55-75 years old) individuals. Participants visited the lab fasted and the following occurred in order: informed consent and questionnaires filled out, blood pressure and resting heart rate recorded, triglyceride and cholesterol measured via a fingerprick, anthropometric measures recorded, cognitive performance assessed via tests from the Automated Neuropsychological Assessment Metrics, and a modified YMCA 3-minute step test assessed recovery heart rate. Results: No differences between male and female between six different cognitive tests. The older group demonstrated significantly greater scores on five of the six cognitive tests (P<0.01-0.05) and had a higher education level (P<0.001). The younger group had lower systolic (P<0.01) and diastolic (P<0.05) blood pressure while the older group demonstrated a lower resting heart rate (P<0.05). Females demonstrated a greater recovery heart rate (P<0.01) and total cholesterol (P<0.05) than males. There were no differences in age groups for BMI, fitness level, or glucose, triglyceride, and cholesterol levels. Conclusion: Higher education and fitness may negate age-related cognitive declines.
  • Iron-Induced Oxidative Stress is Associated with Decreased Brain L-DOPA in Sickle Cell Disease

    Johnson, Dejah; Department of Kinesiology (Augusta University, 2018-05)
    Pain and cognitive decline are characteristic features of patients with sickle cell disease (SCD). Pain arises from the failure of blood to flow freely through blood vessels, thus creating regions of severe ischemia, the lack of blood perfusion. Pain is both a physiological and psychological event. Reflexive pain response arises in the periphery, but pain is perceived in the brain. Thus changes in the brain can modify the experience of pain. The cognitive impairments are also associated with ischemia, increased prevalence of stroke, and the degree of anemia in the patient – the direct result of hemolysis (bursting) of red blood cells in the blood vessels. This hemolysis releases toxic iron containing molecules which then freely circulate in the blood. Iron is potent oxidative stressor and generates the longest lasting radical, the potent OH radical (OH∙). In fact, OH∙ is perhaps the only radical capable of permanently modifying the amino acid tyrosine via shuffling of the side chain. Thus, proteins incorporating the modified amino acid may exhibit a change in function or altered interaction with binding partners. Importantly, tyrosine is the precursor to a host of neurotransmitters, including dopamine via the action of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH). Oxidized forms of tyrosine are no longer substrates for tyrosine hydroxylase, thus generation of dopamine is compromised. In this work, we discovered and quantified the presence of iron in the brains of mice with SCD and those without. We found significantly more iron deposited in the frontal lobe of the brain in the mice with SCD. Interrogation of L-DOPA, the precursor of dopamine, was also reduced. The amount of iron deposited was inversely proportional to the amount of L-DOPA detected in these SCD mice. Thus, these data suggest an overall decrease of dopamine in the brain. Emotion regulation, motor coordination, mood, cognition, learning and memory could all be affected. Furthermore, given the role of dopamine in addiction and reinforcement, our data suggest that patients with SCD are at a lower risk of addiction to pain medication – a primary consideration in the treatment of pain in this illness.
  • The Effects of Physiological Stress Levels on Cognitive Performance

    Quon, Jonathan; Gaines, Hillary; Jules, Naomie; Holland, Maleah; Department of Kinesiology and Health Sciences (2017-03)
    Introduction: Challenging cognitive tests, such as academic exams, often fuel test anxiety which may compromise cognitive performance and result in lower test scores. The purpose of our study was to determine the effects of a short moderate or vigorous aerobic exercise session (walking/running) on cognitive performance. Methods: 6 healthy male and female subjects, aged 18-30 years old, were equally and randomly divided into 3 groups: high intensity exercise (75% MaxHR), moderate intensity exercise (50% MaxHR), and rest (sat with concentration grid). A Random Test (reaction time measure), Memory Test (short-term memory and attention span measure), and Stroop Test (reaction time and attention span measure) were performed on the Card Sorting Box before and after the exercise intervention. The intervention lasted 10 minutes including a warm-up and cool-down. Results: No differences occurred between the 3 groups in pre- to post-intervention Card Sorting Box measures for the Random Test, Memory Test, or Stroop Test. However, a trend towards significance (p = 0.057) occurred for the % correct in the Memory Test when comparing pre- to post-intervention scores; vigorous intensity exercise demonstrated higher scores compared to moderate intensity exercise (p = 0.031) and sitting quietly to study (p =046). Conclusion: This study demonstrates that participating in short-duration vigorous and/ or moderate exercise or utilizing more traditional study techniques, such as sitting quietly to study, results in similar cognitive performance outcomes and therefore does not provide a significant cognitive benefit. However, due to small sample size, more participants are needed for conclusive findings.