Physical activity is related to the structural integrity of cerebral white matter
SourceNeurology, 81, 11, (2013), pp. 971-976
Article / Letter to editor
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Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging
PI Group MR Techniques in Brain Function
Subject150 000 MR Techniques in Brain Function; Biophysics; DCN MP - Plasticity and memory; DCN MP - Plasticity and memory NCEBP 14: Cardiovascular diseases; DCN NN - Brain networks and neuronal communication; DCN NN - Brain networks and neuronal communication NCEBP 9 - Mental health; DCN PAC - Perception action and control
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the relation between physical exercise and the microstructural integrity of cerebral white matter. METHODS: Four hundred forty individuals with cerebral small-vessel disease, aged between 50 and 85 years, without dementia, were included and underwent MRI scanning. Physical exercise was assessed with a structured questionnaire. The cross-sectional relation between physical exercise and the microstructural integrity of the white matter was assessed by applying Tract-Based Spatial Statistics to diffusion tensor imaging parameters. RESULTS: Being more physically active was negatively related to the mean, axial, and radial diffusivity in numerous regions of the white matter, indicative of higher white matter integrity. CONCLUSIONS: These data indicate an association between physical activity and the integrity of the cerebral white matter's microstructure. Prospective studies are required to investigate a possible causal association between physical activity and cognitive decline.
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