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      Physical Exercise Habits Correlate with Gray Matter Volume of the Hippocampus in Healthy Adult Humans

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      Scientific Reports

      Nature Publishing Group

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          Abstract

          Physical activity facilitates neurogenesis of dentate cells in the rodent hippocampus, a brain region critical for memory formation and spatial representation. Recent findings in humans also suggest that aerobic exercise can lead to increased hippocampal volume and enhanced cognitive functioning in children and elderly adults. However, the association between physical activity and hippocampal volume during the period from early adulthood through middle age has not been effectively explored. Here, we correlated the number of minutes of self-reported exercise per week with gray matter volume of the hippocampus using voxel-based morphometry (VBM) in 61 healthy adults ranging from 18 to 45 years of age. After controlling for age, gender, and total brain volume, total minutes of weekly exercise correlated significantly with volume of the right hippocampus. Findings highlight the relationship between regular physical exercise and brain structure during early to middle adulthood.

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          Most cited references 55

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          Automated anatomical labeling of activations in SPM using a macroscopic anatomical parcellation of the MNI MRI single-subject brain.

          An anatomical parcellation of the spatially normalized single-subject high-resolution T1 volume provided by the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI) (D. L. Collins et al., 1998, Trans. Med. Imag. 17, 463-468) was performed. The MNI single-subject main sulci were first delineated and further used as landmarks for the 3D definition of 45 anatomical volumes of interest (AVOI) in each hemisphere. This procedure was performed using a dedicated software which allowed a 3D following of the sulci course on the edited brain. Regions of interest were then drawn manually with the same software every 2 mm on the axial slices of the high-resolution MNI single subject. The 90 AVOI were reconstructed and assigned a label. Using this parcellation method, three procedures to perform the automated anatomical labeling of functional studies are proposed: (1) labeling of an extremum defined by a set of coordinates, (2) percentage of voxels belonging to each of the AVOI intersected by a sphere centered by a set of coordinates, and (3) percentage of voxels belonging to each of the AVOI intersected by an activated cluster. An interface with the Statistical Parametric Mapping package (SPM, J. Ashburner and K. J. Friston, 1999, Hum. Brain Mapp. 7, 254-266) is provided as a freeware to researchers of the neuroimaging community. We believe that this tool is an improvement for the macroscopical labeling of activated area compared to labeling assessed using the Talairach atlas brain in which deformations are well known. However, this tool does not alleviate the need for more sophisticated labeling strategies based on anatomical or cytoarchitectonic probabilistic maps.
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            An automated method for neuroanatomic and cytoarchitectonic atlas-based interrogation of fMRI data sets.

            Analysis and interpretation of functional MRI (fMRI) data have traditionally been based on identifying areas of significance on a thresholded statistical map of the entire imaged brain volume. This form of analysis can be likened to a "fishing expedition." As we become more knowledgeable about the structure-function relationships of different brain regions, tools for a priori hypothesis testing are needed. These tools must be able to generate region of interest masks for a priori hypothesis testing consistently and with minimal effort. Current tools that generate region of interest masks required for a priori hypothesis testing can be time-consuming and are often laboratory specific. In this paper we demonstrate a method of hypothesis-driven data analysis using an automated atlas-based masking technique. We provide a powerful method of probing fMRI data using automatically generated masks based on lobar anatomy, cortical and subcortical anatomy, and Brodmann areas. Hemisphere, lobar, anatomic label, tissue type, and Brodmann area atlases were generated in MNI space based on the Talairach Daemon. Additionally, we interfaced these multivolume atlases to a widely used fMRI software package, SPM99, and demonstrate the use of the atlas tool with representative fMRI data. This tool represents a necessary evolution in fMRI data analysis for testing of more spatially complex hypotheses.
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              Neurogenesis in the adult human hippocampus.

              The genesis of new cells, including neurons, in the adult human brain has not yet been demonstrated. This study was undertaken to investigate whether neurogenesis occurs in the adult human brain, in regions previously identified as neurogenic in adult rodents and monkeys. Human brain tissue was obtained postmortem from patients who had been treated with the thymidine analog, bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU), that labels DNA during the S phase. Using immunofluorescent labeling for BrdU and for one of the neuronal markers, NeuN, calbindin or neuron specific enolase (NSE), we demonstrate that new neurons, as defined by these markers, are generated from dividing progenitor cells in the dentate gyrus of adult humans. Our results further indicate that the human hippocampus retains its ability to generate neurons throughout life.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Sci Rep
                Sci Rep
                Scientific Reports
                Nature Publishing Group
                2045-2322
                12 December 2013
                2013
                : 3
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Social, Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Lab, McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School
                Author notes
                Article
                srep03457
                10.1038/srep03457
                3860009
                Copyright © 2013, Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/

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