The aim of this study was to examine the effectiveness of 2 modes of exercise on cognitive and upper extremity movement functioning in adolescents with Down syndrome (DS). Nine participants randomly completed 3 interventions over 3 consecutive weeks. The interventions were: (a) voluntary cycling (VC), in which participants cycled at their self-selected pedaling rate; (b) assisted cycling (AC), in which the participants' voluntary pedaling rates were augmented with a motor to ensure the maintenance of 80 rpm; and (c) no cycling (NC), in which the participants sat and listened to music. Manual dexterity improved after AC, but not after VC or NC. Measures of cognitive function, including reaction time and cognitive planning, also improved after AC, but not after the other interventions. Future research will try to uncover the mechanisms involved in the behavioral improvements found after an acute bout of assisted cycling in adolescents with DS.

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