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Free Content Impact of age on critical closing pressure of the cerebral circulation during dynamic exercise in humans

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Limited information is available regarding cerebral vascular responses to dynamic exercise in older adults. We examined the influence of age on exercise-induced changes in the critical closing pressure (CCP) of the cerebral vasculature. Twelve young and twelve older subjects performed two bouts of steady-state cycling at low and moderate intensities (30 and 50% heart rate reserve). Mean arterial pressure (MAP), middle cerebral artery blood velocity (MCA V) and partial pressure of end-tidal carbon dioxide ( ) were measured. The CCP was estimated by linear extrapolation of pairs of systolic and diastolic blood pressure and MCA V waveforms. Exercise-induced increases in MAP were greater in older subjects (P < 0.01), while mean MCA V (MCA Vmean) responses to exercise were similar between groups (P= 0.59). The CCP was elevated from rest during low- and moderate-intensity exercise in both groups (moderate exercise: young, +13 ± 2 mmHg and older, +22 ± 2 mmHg; P < 0.01), with the older subjects exhibiting greater increases in CCP during both exercise intensities (moderate exercise: young, +43 ± 9% rest versus older, +153 ± 45% rest; P= 0.04). In contrast, cerebral vascular conductance index (MCA Vmean/MAP; CVCi) was only decreased during moderate exercise in older subjects (P < 0.01) and CVCi was not altered from rest in young subjects during low- or moderate-intensity cycling. No age-group differences were observed in at rest or during two intensities of exercise (P= 0.40). These data demonstrate that older subjects exhibit larger exercise-induced increases in CCP and decreases in CVCi. Thus, ageing is associated with greater increases in cerebral vascular tone during low- and moderate-intensity dynamic exercise.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Biomedical Engineering, Toyo University, Kawagoe-Shi, Saitama 350-8585, Japan 2: School of Sport & Exercise Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK 3: Department of Medical Pharmacology & Physiology, Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, USA

Publication date: 01 April 2011

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