Multiple Neuroimaging Measures for Examining Exercise-induced Neuroplasticity in Older Adults: A Quasi-experimental Study.
Physical exercise can improve physical and mental health. A number of imaging studies have examined the role of neuroplasticity in improving cognition with physical exercise; however, such neuroplasticity changes are not consistent across the reports partly due to small sample sizes in some studies. We thought to explore the concept that identifying consistent findings across multi-modality imaging measures would provide relatively reliable results. We designed a 6-week quasi-experiment with Wii-fitness exercise program in 24 healthy adults older than 60, and then examined the changes on neuroimaging measures including brain volume, the amplitude of low-frequency oscillation function (ALFF), regional homogeneity (ReHo), seed-based functional connectivity (FC), and the global efficiency of nodal connectivity during resting state. We focused on whether there were common regions showing changes after exercise across these measures and which measure was closely correlated with cognitive improvement. After the six-week exercise program, participants demonstrated a significant improvement in memory and executive function on neuropsychological tests, and in memory recall on an emotional memory task. The common brain regions that showed significant changes across different measures were the right striatum and the posterior cingulate (PCC). After exercise, the PCC showed decreased ReHo and increased volume, and the striatum did not show volume loss as the control group did and increased its FC with the cingulate, temporal, parietal, and occipital regions. Moreover, the connectivity change between the striatum and the thalamus was correlated with the improvement of executive function. This result implicates the striatum and the PCC associated network in physical exercise. Our work highlights the effectiveness of multi-modality neuroimaging measures in investigating neuroplasticity.
Ji, L; Zhang, H; Potter, GG; Zang, Y-F; Steffens, DC; Guo, H; Wang, L
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