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Sixteen weeks of aerobic exercise does not alter resting-state connectivity of the precuneus in patients with Alzheimer's disease

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INTRODUCTION: In healthy elderly persons and patients with mild cognitive impairment, physical exercise can increase functional brain connectivity in the default mode network (DMN) measured by restingstate functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI). However, no studies have so far investigated the effect of physical exercise on functional resting-state connectivity in the DMN in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD).

OBJECTIVE: In a single-blinded randomized controlled trial, we assessed the effects of an aerobic exercise intervention of 16 weeks of physical exercise on DMN connectivity using rs-fMRI in patients with AD.

METHODS: Forty-five patients were randomly assigned to either a control or exercise group. The exercise group performed 60-min of aerobic exercise three times per week for 16 weeks. All the patients underwent whole-brain rs-fMRI at 3 T, at baseline, and after 16 weeks. Since the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) and adjacent precuneus constitute a central hub of the DMN, this parietal region was defined as region-ofinterest and used as the seed region for functional connectivity analysis of the rs-fMRI data treating age and gender as covariates.

RESULTS: Neither seed-based analysis, seeded in the PCC/precuneus region nor ICA-based analyses, focusing on components of the DMN network, showed any exercise-induced changes in functional resting-state connectivity from baseline to follow-up.

CONCLUSION: 16 weeks of aerobic exercise does not modify functional connectivity of the PCC/precuneus region in patients with AD. A longer intervention may be needed to show the effect of exercise on brain connectivity.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftCurrent Alzheimer Research
Vol/bind19
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)171-177
Antal sider7
ISSN1567-2050
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 14 mar. 2022

Bibliografisk note

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