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      Three-year changes in leisure activities are associated with concurrent changes in white matter microstructure and perceptual speed in individuals aged 80 years and older.

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          Abstract

          Accumulating evidence suggests that engagement in leisure activities is associated with favorable trajectories of cognitive aging, but little is known about brain changes related to both activities and cognition. White matter microstructure shows experience-dependent plasticity and declines in aging. Therefore, we investigated the role of change in white matter microstructure in the activities-cognition link. We used repeated assessments of engagement, perceptual speed, and white matter microstructure (probed with diffusion tensor imaging) in a population-based sample of individuals over 80 years without dementia (n = 442, Mage = 85.1; n = 70 for diffusion tensor imaging; 2 occasions 3 years apart). Using multivariate latent change modeling, we observed positive correlations among changes in predominantly social activities, white matter microstructure, and perceptual speed. Interindividual differences in change in white matter microstructure statistically accounted for the association between change in leisure activities and change in perceptual speed. However, as analyses are based on observational data from 2 measurement occasions, causality remains unclear.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Neurobiol. Aging
          Neurobiology of aging
          Elsevier BV
          1558-1497
          0197-4580
          May 2016
          : 41
          Affiliations
          [1 ] Aging Research Center, NVS Department, Karolinska Institutet and Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden. Electronic address: ylva.kohncke@ki.se.
          [2 ] Aging Research Center, NVS Department, Karolinska Institutet and Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden.
          [3 ] Aging Research Center, NVS Department, Karolinska Institutet and Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden; Otto Hahn Group on Associative Memory, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, Germany.
          [4 ] Department of Medical Physics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
          [5 ] Aging Research Center, NVS Department, Karolinska Institutet and Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden; Stockholm Gerontology Research Center, Stockholm, Sweden.
          [6 ] Aging Research Center, NVS Department, Karolinska Institutet and Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden; Center for Lifespan Psychology, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, Germany.
          Article
          S0197-4580(16)00168-8
          10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2016.02.013
          27103530

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