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Aerobic fitness is associated with hippocampal volume in elderly humans.

Abstract

Deterioration of the hippocampus occurs in elderly individuals with and without dementia, yet individual variation exists in the degree and rate of hippocampal decay. Determining the factors that influence individual variation in the magnitude and rate of hippocampal decay may help promote lifestyle changes that prevent such deterioration from taking place. Aerobic fitness and exercise are effective at preventing cortical decay and cognitive impairment in older adults and epidemiological studies suggest that physical activity can reduce the risk for developing dementia. However, the relationship between aerobic fitness and hippocampal volume in elderly humans is unknown. In this study, we investigated whether individuals with higher levels of aerobic fitness displayed greater volume of the hippocampus and better spatial memory performance than individuals with lower fitness levels. Furthermore, in exploratory analyses, we assessed whether hippocampal volume mediated the relationship between fitness and spatial memory. Using a region-of-interest analysis on magnetic resonance images in 165 nondemented older adults, we found a triple association such that higher fitness levels were associated with larger left and right hippocampi after controlling for age, sex, and years of education, and larger hippocampi and higher fitness levels were correlated with better spatial memory performance. Furthermore, we demonstrated that hippocampal volume partially mediated the relationship between higher fitness levels and enhanced spatial memory. Our results clearly indicate that higher levels of aerobic fitness are associated with increased hippocampal volume in older humans, which translates to better memory function.

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  • Authors+Show Affiliations

    ,

    Department of Psychology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15206, USA. kiericks@pitt.edu

    , , , , , , , ,

    Source

    Hippocampus 19:10 2009 Oct pg 1030-9

    MeSH

    Aged
    Aged, 80 and over
    Aging
    Cardiovascular Physiological Phenomena
    Exercise
    Female
    Functional Laterality
    Hippocampus
    Humans
    Magnetic Resonance Imaging
    Male
    Memory
    Middle Aged
    Neuropsychological Tests
    Organ Size
    Reaction Time
    Space Perception

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article
    Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    19123237

    Citation

    Erickson, Kirk I., et al. "Aerobic Fitness Is Associated With Hippocampal Volume in Elderly Humans." Hippocampus, vol. 19, no. 10, 2009, pp. 1030-9.
    Erickson KI, Prakash RS, Voss MW, et al. Aerobic fitness is associated with hippocampal volume in elderly humans. Hippocampus. 2009;19(10):1030-9.
    Erickson, K. I., Prakash, R. S., Voss, M. W., Chaddock, L., Hu, L., Morris, K. S., ... Kramer, A. F. (2009). Aerobic fitness is associated with hippocampal volume in elderly humans. Hippocampus, 19(10), pp. 1030-9. doi:10.1002/hipo.20547.
    Erickson KI, et al. Aerobic Fitness Is Associated With Hippocampal Volume in Elderly Humans. Hippocampus. 2009;19(10):1030-9. PubMed PMID: 19123237.
    * Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
    TY - JOUR T1 - Aerobic fitness is associated with hippocampal volume in elderly humans. AU - Erickson,Kirk I, AU - Prakash,Ruchika S, AU - Voss,Michelle W, AU - Chaddock,Laura, AU - Hu,Liang, AU - Morris,Katherine S, AU - White,Siobhan M, AU - Wójcicki,Thomas R, AU - McAuley,Edward, AU - Kramer,Arthur F, PY - 2009/1/6/entrez PY - 2009/1/6/pubmed PY - 2009/12/16/medline SP - 1030 EP - 9 JF - Hippocampus JO - Hippocampus VL - 19 IS - 10 N2 - Deterioration of the hippocampus occurs in elderly individuals with and without dementia, yet individual variation exists in the degree and rate of hippocampal decay. Determining the factors that influence individual variation in the magnitude and rate of hippocampal decay may help promote lifestyle changes that prevent such deterioration from taking place. Aerobic fitness and exercise are effective at preventing cortical decay and cognitive impairment in older adults and epidemiological studies suggest that physical activity can reduce the risk for developing dementia. However, the relationship between aerobic fitness and hippocampal volume in elderly humans is unknown. In this study, we investigated whether individuals with higher levels of aerobic fitness displayed greater volume of the hippocampus and better spatial memory performance than individuals with lower fitness levels. Furthermore, in exploratory analyses, we assessed whether hippocampal volume mediated the relationship between fitness and spatial memory. Using a region-of-interest analysis on magnetic resonance images in 165 nondemented older adults, we found a triple association such that higher fitness levels were associated with larger left and right hippocampi after controlling for age, sex, and years of education, and larger hippocampi and higher fitness levels were correlated with better spatial memory performance. Furthermore, we demonstrated that hippocampal volume partially mediated the relationship between higher fitness levels and enhanced spatial memory. Our results clearly indicate that higher levels of aerobic fitness are associated with increased hippocampal volume in older humans, which translates to better memory function. SN - 1098-1063 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/19123237/Aerobic_fitness_is_associated_with_hippocampal_volume_in_elderly_humans_ L2 - https://doi.org/10.1002/hipo.20547 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -