Long-Term Physical Activity May Modify Brain Structure and Function : Studies in Young Healthy Twins
Tarkka, Ina. M.; Hautasaari, Pekka; Pesonen, Heidi; Niskanen, Eini; Rottensteiner, Mirva; Kaprio, Jaakko; Savić, Andrej M.; Kujala, Urho M. (2019). Long-Term Physical Activity May Modify Brain Structure and Function : Studies in Young Healthy Twins. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 16 (8), 637-643. DOI: 10.1123/jpah.2018-0416
Published inJournal of Physical Activity and Health
© 2019 Human Kinetics, Inc.
Background: Physical activity (PA) is said to be beneficial to many bodily functions. However, the effects of PA in the brain are still inadequately known. The authors aimed to uncover possible brain modulation linked with PA. Here, they combine 4 of their studies with monozygotic twins, who were within-pair discordant in PA for a minimum of 1 year. Methods: The authors performed brain imaging, brain electrophysiology, and cardiovascular and body composition assessments, and collected questionnaire-based data. The present synopsis elucidates the differences associated with differing PA history in conditions without genetic variability. They present new structural and electrophysiological results. Participants, healthy, 45 male monozygotic twins (mean age 34.5 [1.5] y) differed in aerobic capacity and fat percentage (P < .001). Results: More active co-twins showed larger gray matter volumes in striatal, prefrontal, and hippocampal regions, and smaller gray matter volumes in the anterior cingulate area than less active co-twins. Functionally, visual and somatosensory automatic change detection processes differed between more and less active co-twins. Conclusions: In monozygotic twins, who differed in their PA history, differences were observed in identifiable anatomic brain locations involved with motor control and memory functions, as well as in electrophysiological measures detecting brain’s automatic processes. Better aerobic capacity may modify brain morphology and sensory function. ...
PublisherHuman Kinetics, Inc.
Publication in research information system
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- Liikuntatieteiden tiedekunta 
Related funder(s)Ministry of Education and Culture
Additional information about fundingThe authors would like to thank the participants of the study and the personnel at the Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences and Department of Psychology, University of Jyväskylä, for their help during data collection. This work was supported by the Ministry of Education and Culture, Helsinki, Finland, Meta-Predict (within the European Union Seventh Framework Program, Health-F2-2012-277936) and Juho Vainio Foundation, Helsinki, Finland. The FinnTwin16 cohort study data collection has been supported by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and the Academy of Finland. The funding agencies had no role in the interpretation of the data or writing this report. The authors report no conflict of interest. ...
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