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Aerobic Exercise Intervention, CognitivePerformance, and Brain Structure: results from the Physical Influences on Brain in Aging (PHIBRA) Study
Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för strålningsvetenskaper, Diagnostisk radiologi. Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Umeå centrum för funktionell hjärnavbildning (UFBI). Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Enheten för demografi och åldrandeforskning (CEDAR).ORCID-id: 0000-0001-6169-5836
Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Umeå centrum för funktionell hjärnavbildning (UFBI). Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för integrativ medicinsk biologi (IMB), Fysiologi. Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för strålningsvetenskaper, Diagnostisk radiologi.ORCID-id: 0000-0002-3367-1746
Departments of Psychology and Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Northeastern University, Boston, MA, USA.
Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Handelshögskolan vid Umeå universitet, Statistik. Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Umeå centrum för funktionell hjärnavbildning (UFBI).ORCID-id: 0000-0003-1524-0851
Vise andre og tillknytning
2017 (engelsk)Inngår i: Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, ISSN 1663-4365, E-ISSN 1663-4365, Vol. 8, s. 1-15, artikkel-id 336Artikkel i tidsskrift (Fagfellevurdert) Published
Abstract [en]

Studies have shown that aerobic exercise has the potential to improve cognition and reduce brain atrophy in older adults. However, the literature is equivocal with regards to the specificity or generality of these effects. To this end, we report results on cognitive function and brain structure from a 6-month training intervention with 60 sedentary adults (64–78 years) randomized to either aerobic training or stretching and toning control training. Cognitive functions were assessed with a neuropsychological test battery in which cognitive constructs were measured using several different tests. Freesurfer was used to estimate cortical thickness in frontal regions and hippocampus volume. Results showed that aerobic exercisers, compared to controls, exhibited a broad, rather than specific, improvement in cognition as indexed by a higher “Cognitive score,” a composite including episodic memory, processing speed, updating, and executive function tasks (p = 0.01). There were no group differences in cortical thickness, but additional analyses revealed that aerobic fitness at baseline was specifically related to larger thickness in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC), and hippocampus volume was positively associated with increased aerobic fitness over time. Moreover, “Cognitive score” was related to dlPFC thickness at baseline, but changes in “Cognitive score” and dlPFC thickness were associated over time in the aerobic group only. However, aerobic fitness did not predict dlPFC change, despite the improvement in “Cognitive score” in aerobic exercisers. Our interpretation of these observations is that potential exercise-induced changes in thickness are slow, and may be undetectable within 6-months, in contrast to change in hippocampus volume which in fact was predicted by the change in aerobic fitness. To conclude, our results add to a growing literature suggesting that aerobic exercise has a broad influence on cognitive functioning, which may aid in explaining why studies focusing on a narrower range of functions have sometimes reported mixed results.

sted, utgiver, år, opplag, sider
2017. Vol. 8, s. 1-15, artikkel-id 336
Emneord [en]
aerobic exercise, cognition, executive function, plasticity, hippocampus, prefrontal cortex, freesurfer, transfer
HSV kategori
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-130526DOI: 10.3389/fnagi.2016.00336ISI: 000392049000001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-130526DiVA, id: diva2:1067549
Forskningsfinansiär
Swedish Research Council, 2012- 00530Tilgjengelig fra: 2017-01-22 Laget: 2017-01-22 Sist oppdatert: 2018-06-09bibliografisk kontrollert
Inngår i avhandling
1. Aerobic fitness and healthy brain aging: cognition, brain structure, and dopamine
Åpne denne publikasjonen i ny fane eller vindu >>Aerobic fitness and healthy brain aging: cognition, brain structure, and dopamine
2017 (engelsk)Doktoravhandling, med artikler (Annet vitenskapelig)
Alternativ tittel[sv]
Aerobisk träning och hjärnans hälsosamma åldrande : kognition, hjärnstruktur och dopamin
Abstract [en]

Background: Performing aerobic exercise and maintaining high levels of aerobic fitness may have positive effects on both brain structure and function in older adults. Despite decades of research however, there is still a rather poor understanding of the neurocognitive mechanisms explaining the positive effects of aerobic exercise on cognition. Changes in prefrontal gray matter as well as dopaminergic neurotransmission in striatum are both candidate neurocognitive mechanisms. The main aims of this thesis are: 1. To investigate the effects of aerobic exercise and fitness on cognition and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) derived gray matter volumes using data from a 6 month physical exercise intervention in older adults (Study I). 2. To simulate the effect of atrophy in longitudinal positron emission tomography (PET) which could pose a challenge to interpreting changes in longitudinal PET imaging (Study II). 3. To study the influence of aerobic exercise and fitness on the dopamine D2-receptor (D2R) system in striatum using [11C]raclopride PET as a potential mechanism for improved cognition (Study III).

Results: In Study I, aerobic exercise was found to improve cognitive performance in a broad, rather than domain-specific sense. Moreover, aerobic fitness was related to prefrontal cortical thickness, and improved aerobic fitness over 6 months was related to increased hippocampal volume. In Study II, we identified areas in the striatum vulnerable to the effect of shrinkage, which should be considered in longitudinal PET imaging. Finally, in Study III, the effect of being aerobically fit, and improving fitness levels was found to impact dopaminergic neurotransmission in the striatum, which in turn mediated fitness-induced improvements in working memory updating performance.

Conclusion: The findings in this thesis provide novel evidence regarding the neurocognitive mechanisms of aerobic exercise-induced improvements in cognition, and impacts the interpretation of longitudinal PET imaging. Performing aerobic exercise and staying aerobically fit at an older age have positive effects on cognition and brain systems important for memory and cognition. Specifically, fitness-induced changes to the dopaminergic system stands out as one novel neurocognitive mechanism explaining the positive effects of aerobic fitness on working-memory performance in healthy older adults.

sted, utgiver, år, opplag, sider
Umeå: Umeå Universitet, 2017. s. 81
Serie
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 1908
Emneord
Aerobic exercise, VO2, working memory, executive function, freesurfer, striatum, dopamine, D2-receptors, [11C]raclopride
HSV kategori
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-139056 (URN)978-91-7601-753-1 (ISBN)
Disputas
2017-09-29, Sal 933, Building 3B, Norrland University Hospital, Umeå, 09:35 (engelsk)
Opponent
Veileder
Tilgjengelig fra: 2017-09-08 Laget: 2017-09-06 Sist oppdatert: 2018-06-09bibliografisk kontrollert

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