Exp Gerontol. 2015 Feb;62:1-6. doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2014.12.011.

Objectively measured physical activity, brain atrophy, and white matter lesions in older adults with mild cognitive impairment.

 

Takehiko Doi a,b,c,⁎, Hyuma Makizako a, Hiroyuki Shimada a, Kota Tsutsumimoto a, Ryo Hotta a, Sho Nakakubo a, Hyuntae Park a, Takao Suzuki c

a Department of Functioning Activation, Center for Gerontology and Social Science, National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology, 35 Gengo, Morioka, Obu, Aichi 474-8511, Japan

b Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Tokyo, 5-3-1, Koujimachi, Chiyoda, Tokyo 102-0083, Japan

c Research Institute, National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology, 35 Gengo, Morioka, Obu, Aichi 474-8511, Japan

 

Abstract

Physical activity may help to prevent or delay brain atrophy. Numerous studies have shown associations between physical activity and age-related changes in the brain. However, most of these studies involved self-reported physical activity, not objectively measured physical activity. Therefore, the aim of this study was to examine the association between objectively measured physical activity, as determined using accelerometers, and brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measures in older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). We analyzed 323 older subjects with MCI (mean age 71.4 years) who were recruited from the participants of the Obu Study of Health Promotion for the Elderly. We recorded demographic data and measured physical activity using a tri-axial accelerometer. Physical activity was classified as light-intensity physical activity (LPA) or moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Brain atrophy and the severity of white matter lesions (WML) were determined by MRI. Low levels of LPA and MVPA were associated with severe WML. Subjects with severe WML were older, had lower mobility, and had greater brain atrophy than subjects with mild WML (all P<0.05). Multivariate analysis revealed that more MVPA was associated with less brain atrophy, even after adjustment for WML (β=-0.126, P=0.015), but LPA was not (β=-0.102, P=0.136). Our study revealed that objectively measured physical activity, especially MVPA, was associated with brain atrophy in MCI subjects, even after adjusting for WML. These findings support the hypothesis that physical activity plays a crucial role in maintaining brain health.

KEYWORDS: Accelerometer; Brain atrophy; Mild cognitive impairment; Physical activity

PMID: 25528600

 

 

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