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Neurology. 2013 Sep 10;81(11):971-6. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e3182a43e33. Epub 2013 Aug 6.

Physical activity is related to the structural integrity of cerebral white matter.

Author information

1
From the Department of Neurology (R.A.R.G.), Catharina Hospital, Eindhoven; Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behavior, Center for Neuroscience, Departments of Neurology (R.A.R.G., A.M.T., K.F.d. L., A.G.W.v.N., E.J.v.D., F.-E.d.L.) and Psychiatry (M.P.Z.), Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center; and Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behavior, Center for Cognitive Neuroimaging, Radboud University Nijmegen (D.G.N., M.P.Z.), the Netherlands.

Abstract

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.

PMID:
23921884
DOI:
10.1212/WNL.0b013e3182a43e33
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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