Physical activity, body mass index, and brain atrophy in Alzheimer's disease

Christina P. Boyle, Cyrus A. Raji, Kirk I. Erickson, Oscar L. Lopez, James T. Becker, H. Michael Gach, W. T. Longstreth, Leonid Teverovskiy, Lewis H. Kuller, Owen T. Carmichael, Paul M. Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to use a novel imaging biomarker to assess associations between physical activity (PA), body mass index (BMI), and brain structure in normal aging, mild cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer's dementia. We studied 963 participants (mean age: 74.1 ± 4.4 years) from the multisite Cardiovascular Health Study including healthy controls (n= 724), Alzheimer's dementia patients (n=104), and people with mild cognitive impairment (n= 135). Volumetric brain images were processed using tensor-based morphometry to analyze regional brain volumes. We regressed the local brain tissue volume on reported PA and computed BMI, and performed conjunction analyses using both variables. Covariates included age, sex, and study site. PA was independently associated with greater whole brain and regional brain volumes and reduced ventricular dilation. People with higher BMI had lower whole brain and regional brain volumes. A PA-BMI conjunction analysis showed brain preservation with PA and volume loss with increased BMI in overlapping brain regions. In one of the largest voxel-based cross-sectional studies to date, PA and lower BMI may be beneficial to the brain across the spectrum of aging and neurodegeneration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S194-S202
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Volume36
Issue numberS1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Alzheimer's
  • Body mass index
  • Physical activity
  • Tensor-based morphometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Aging
  • Developmental Biology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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    Boyle, C. P., Raji, C. A., Erickson, K. I., Lopez, O. L., Becker, J. T., Gach, H. M., Longstreth, W. T., Teverovskiy, L., Kuller, L. H., Carmichael, O. T., & Thompson, P. M. (2015). Physical activity, body mass index, and brain atrophy in Alzheimer's disease. Neurobiology of Aging, 36(S1), S194-S202. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2014.05.036