Cardiorespiratory fitness, hippocampal subfield volumes, and mnemonic discrimination task performance in aging

Aging and exercise have opposing effects on mnemonic discrimination task performance, which putatively taxes pattern separation mechanisms reliant on the dentate gyrus (DG) subfield of the hippocampus. In young adults, increasing cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) has been shown to improve mnemonic dis...

Full description

Bibliographic Details
Main Authors: Kern, K.L (Author), Schon, K. (Author), Storer, T.W (Author)
Format: Article
Language:English
Published: John Wiley and Sons Inc 2021
Subjects:
MRI
Online Access:View Fulltext in Publisher
Description
Summary:Aging and exercise have opposing effects on mnemonic discrimination task performance, which putatively taxes pattern separation mechanisms reliant on the dentate gyrus (DG) subfield of the hippocampus. In young adults, increasing cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) has been shown to improve mnemonic discrimination task performance and increase left anterior DG/CA3 volume. It is unknown how these variables interact in cognitive aging, yet this knowledge is critical, given the established effects of aging on hippocampal plasticity. To investigate these relationships, 65 older adults (aged 55–85 years) completed a submaximal treadmill test to estimate CRF, a mnemonic discrimination task, and a high-resolution MRI scan to determine hippocampal subfield volumes. Our older adult sample demonstrated the lowest task accuracy in the condition with the greatest stimuli similarity and left DG/CA3 body volume significantly predicted accuracy in this condition. Our results did not provide support for relationships between CRF and task accuracy or CRF and DG/CA3 volume as evidenced in studies of young adults. Instead, CRF predicted bilateral subiculum volume in older adult women, not men. Altogether, these findings provide further support for a role of the DG in behavioral pattern separation in humans and suggest that CRF may have differential effects on hippocampal subfield integrity in older adult men and women. ClinicalTrials.gov identifiers: (a) Neuroimaging Study of Exercise and Memory Function, NCT02057354; (b) The Entorhinal Cortex and Aerobic Exercise in Aging, NCT02775760; (c) Physical Activity and Cognition Study, NCT02773121. © 2020 The Authors. Human Brain Mapping published by Wiley Periodicals LLC.
ISBN:10659471 (ISSN)
DOI:10.1002/hbm.25259