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Neuroimage. 2016 Feb 1;126:229-38. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.11.049. Epub 2015 Nov 26.

Entorhinal volume, aerobic fitness, and recognition memory in healthy young adults: A voxel-based morphometry study.

Author information

1
Dept. of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Boston Univ., 2 Cummington Mall, Boston, MA 02215, USA; Center for Memory and Brain, Boston Univ., 2 Cummington Mall, Boston, MA 02215, USA. Electronic address: asw221@bu.edu.
2
College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Exercise and Health Sciences Program, Univ. of Massachusetts Boston, 100 Morrissey Blvd, Boston, MA 02125, USA. Electronic address: daniel.young@umb.edu.
3
Dept. of Neurology, Boston Univ. School of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA; VA Boston Healthcare System, 150 South Huntington St., Boston, MA 02130, USA. Electronic address: abudson@bu.edu.
4
Dept. of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Boston Univ., 2 Cummington Mall, Boston, MA 02215, USA; Center for Memory and Brain, Boston Univ., 2 Cummington Mall, Boston, MA 02215, USA. Electronic address: chantal@bu.edu.
5
Dept. of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Boston Univ., 2 Cummington Mall, Boston, MA 02215, USA; Center for Memory and Brain, Boston Univ., 2 Cummington Mall, Boston, MA 02215, USA; Dept. of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Boston Univ. School of Medicine, 72 East Concord St., Boston, MA, USA; Center for Biomedical Imaging, Boston Univ. School of Medicine, 650 Albany Street, Boston, MA, USA. Electronic address: kschon@bu.edu.

Abstract

Converging evidence supports the hypothesis effects of aerobic exercise and environmental enrichment are beneficial for cognition, in particular for hippocampus-supported learning and memory. Recent work in humans suggests that exercise training induces changes in hippocampal volume, but it is not known if aerobic exercise and fitness also impact the entorhinal cortex. In animal models, aerobic exercise increases expression of growth factors, including brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). This exercise-enhanced expression of growth hormones may boost synaptic plasticity, and neuronal survival and differentiation, potentially supporting function and structure in brain areas including but not limited to the hippocampus. Here, using voxel based morphometry and a standard graded treadmill test to determine cardio-respiratory fitness (Bruce protocol; ·VO2 max), we examined if entorhinal and hippocampal volumes were associated with cardio-respiratory fitness in healthy young adults (N=33). In addition, we examined if volumes were modulated by recognition memory performance and by serum BDNF, a putative marker of synaptic plasticity. Our results show a positive association between volume in right entorhinal cortex and cardio-respiratory fitness. In addition, average gray matter volume in the entorhinal cortex, bilaterally, was positively associated with memory performance. These data extend prior work on the cerebral effects of aerobic exercise and fitness to the entorhinal cortex in healthy young adults thus providing compelling evidence for a relationship between aerobic fitness and structure of the medial temporal lobe memory system.

KEYWORDS:

Cardiovascular fitness; Hippocampus; Medial temporal lobes; Neurotrophins; Recognition memory

PMID:
26631814
PMCID:
PMC4733633
DOI:
10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.11.049
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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