Background: Mild Cognitive Impairments (MCI) and dementia are still incurable. The Whole-Body Cryotherapy (WBC) - short, cyclic exposure to extremely low temperatures - has proven anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effects. It can also induce hormonal, lipid and neural changes.
Objective: To evaluate the WBC effect on cognitive functioning and blood parameters of MCI patients.
Materials and methods: Participants with MCI undertook 10 WBC sessions. Cognitive functions and depressive symptoms were assessed before the first session, after the last session and 2 weeks later. Whole blood samples were collected.
Results: The cognitive functioning improved after 10 WBC sessions (p<0.05), especially memory processes. WBC caused a significant (p<0.05) increase of NO plasma level, BDNF concentration (p<0.05) and reduction of IL-6 (p<0.05). The moderate relationship between NO and cognitive functioning was noticed after WBC.
Conclusion: The preliminary results of the first study evaluating WBC on memory deficits suggest that WBC may be useful as a supportive therapy of MCI.