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Prospective Analysis of Leisure-Time Physical Activity in Midlife and Beyond and Brain Damage on MRI in Older Adults.

TitleProspective Analysis of Leisure-Time Physical Activity in Midlife and Beyond and Brain Damage on MRI in Older Adults.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsPalta P, A Sharrett R, Gabriel KPettee, Gottesman RF, Folsom AR, Power MC, Evenson KR, Jack CR, Knopman DS, Mosley TH, Heiss G
JournalNeurology
Volume96
Issue7
Paginatione964-e974
Date Published2021 02 16
ISSN1526-632X
KeywordsBrain, Exercise, Female, Gray Matter, Humans, Leisure Activities, Leukoencephalopathies, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Middle Aged, Neuroimaging, Organ Size, White Matter
Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To test the hypothesis that greater levels of leisure-time moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA) in midlife or late life are associated with larger gray matter volumes, less white matter disease, and fewer cerebrovascular lesions measured in late life, we utilized data from 1,604 participants enrolled in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study.

METHODS: Leisure-time MVPA was quantified using a past-year recall, interviewer-administered questionnaire at baseline and 25 years later and classified as none, low, middle, and high at each time point. The presence of cerebrovascular lesions, white matter hyperintensities (WMH), white matter integrity (mean fractional anisotropy [FA] and mean diffusivity [MD]), and gray matter volumes were quantified with 3T MRI in late life. The odds of cerebrovascular lesions were estimated with logistic regression. Linear regression estimated the mean differences in WMH, mean FA and MD, and gray matter volumes.

RESULTS: Among 1,604 participants (mean age 53 years, 61% female, 27% Black), 550 (34%), 176 (11%), 250 (16%), and 628 (39%) reported no, low, middle, and high MVPA in midlife, respectively. Compared to no MVPA in midlife, high MVPA was associated with more intact white matter integrity in late life (mean FA difference 0.13 per SD [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.004, 0.26]; mean MD difference -0.11 per SD [95% CI -0.21, -0.004]). High MVPA in midlife was also associated with a lower odds of lacunar infarcts (odds ratio 0.68, 95% CI 0.46, 0.99). High MVPA was not associated with gray matter volumes. High MVPA compared to no MVPA in late life was associated with most brain measures.

CONCLUSION: Greater levels of physical activity in midlife may protect against cerebrovascular sequelae in late life.

DOI10.1212/WNL.0000000000011375
Alternate JournalNeurology
PubMed ID33408144
PubMed Central IDPMC8055339
Grant ListHHSN268201700001I / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
HHSN268201700002I / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
HHSN268201700003I / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
HHSN268201700005I / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
HHSN268201700004I / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
U01 HL096812 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
U01 HL096814 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
U01 HL096899 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
U01 HL096902 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
U01 HL096917 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
K24 AG052573 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R00 AG052830 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States