Title

The effect of self-paced exercise intensity and cardiorespiratory fitness on frontal grey matter volume in cognitively normal older adults: A randomised controlled trial

Author Identifier

Simon Laws

ORCID : 0000-0002-4355-7082

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society : JINS

First Page

1

Last Page

14

PubMed ID

34549700

Publisher

Cambridge University Press

School

School of Medical and Health Sciences

RAS ID

36633

Funders

National Health and Medical Research Council Dementia Research Development Fellowship awarded to BMB

Grant Number

NHMRC Number : GNT1097105

Comments

Frost, N., Weinborn, M., Gignac, G., Xia, Y., Doré, V., Rainey-Smith, S., . . . Brown, B. (2022). The effect of self-paced exercise intensity and cardiorespiratory fitness on frontal grey matter volume in cognitively normal older adults: A randomised controlled trial. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 28(9), 902-915.

https://doi.org/10.1017/S1355617721001132

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Exercise has been found to be important in maintaining neurocognitive health. However, the effect of exercise intensity level remains relatively underexplored. Thus, to test the hypothesis that self-paced high-intensity exercise and cardiorespiratory fitness (peak aerobic capacity; VO2peak) increase grey matter (GM) volume, we examined the effect of a 6-month exercise intervention on frontal lobe GM regions that support the executive functions in older adults. METHODS: Ninety-eight cognitively normal participants (age = 69.06 ± 5.2 years; n = 54 female) were randomised into either a self-paced high- or moderate-intensity cycle-based exercise intervention group, or a no-intervention control group. Participants underwent magnetic resonance imaging and fitness assessment pre-intervention, immediately post-intervention, and 12-months post-intervention. RESULTS: The intervention was found to increase fitness in the exercise groups, as compared with the control group (F = 9.88, p = <0.001). Changes in pre-to-post-intervention fitness were associated with increased volume in the right frontal lobe (β = 0.29, p = 0.036, r = 0.27), right supplementary motor area (β = 0.30, p = 0.031, r = 0.29), and both right (β = 0.32, p = 0.034, r = 0.30) and left gyrus rectus (β = 0.30, p = 0.037, r = 0.29) for intervention, but not control participants. No differences in volume were observed across groups. CONCLUSIONS: At an aggregate level, six months of self-paced high- or moderate-intensity exercise did not increase frontal GM volume. However, experimentally-induced changes in individual cardiorespiratory fitness was positively associated with frontal GM volume in our sample of older adults. These results provide evidence of individual variability in exercise-induced fitness on brain structure.

DOI

10.1017/S1355617721001132

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