Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Physical fitness and shapes of subcortical brain structures in children

  • Francisco B. Ortega (a1), Daniel Campos (a2), Cristina Cadenas-Sanchez (a1), Signe Altmäe (a2) (a3), Cristina Martínez-Zaldívar (a2), Miguel Martín-Matillas (a1), Andrés Catena (a4) and Cristina Campoy (a2) (a3)...

Abstract

A few studies have recently reported that higher cardiorespiratory fitness is associated with higher volumes of subcortical brain structures in children. It is, however, unknown how different fitness measures relate to shapes of subcortical brain nuclei. We aimed to examine the association of the main health-related physical fitness components with shapes of subcortical brain structures in a sample of forty-four Spanish children aged 9·7 (sd 0·2) years from the NUtraceuticals for a HEALthier life project. Cardiorespiratory fitness, muscular strength and speed agility were assessed using valid and reliable tests (ALPHA-fitness test battery). Shape of the subcortical brain structures was assessed by MRI, and its relationship with fitness was examined after controlling for a set of potential confounders using a partial correlation permutation approach. Our results showed that all physical fitness components studied were significantly related to the shapes of subcortical brain nuclei. These associations were both positive and negative, indicating that a higher level of fitness in childhood is related to both expansions and contractions in certain regions of the accumbens, amygdala, caudate, hippocampus, pallidum, putamen and thalamus. Cardiorespiratory fitness was mainly associated with expansions, whereas handgrip was mostly associated with contractions in the structures studied. Future randomised-controlled trials will confirm or contrast our findings, demonstrating whether changes in fitness modify the shapes of brain structures and the extent to which those changes influence cognitive function.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Physical fitness and shapes of subcortical brain structures in children
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Physical fitness and shapes of subcortical brain structures in children
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Physical fitness and shapes of subcortical brain structures in children
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/),which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: F. B. Ortega, fax +34 958 244 369, email ortegaf@ugr.es

Footnotes

Hide All

Disclaimer: This paper was published as part of a supplement to British Journal of Nutrition, publication of which was supported partially by UNILEVER, NUTRIMENTHE EU Project and an unrestricted educational grant from the University of Granada. The papers included in this supplement were invited by the Guest Editor and have undergone the standard journal formal review process. They may be cited.

Footnotes

References

Hide All
1. Ortega, FB, Ruiz, JR, Castillo, MJ, et al. (2008) Physical fitness in childhood and adolescence: a powerful marker of health. Int J Obes 32, 111.
2. Ruiz, JR, Castro-Piñero, J, Artero, EG, et al. (2009) Predictive validity of health-related fitness in youth: a systematic review. Br J Sports Med 43, 909923.
3. Ruiz, JR, Castro-Pinero, J, Espana-Romero, V, et al. (2011) Field-based fitness assessment in young people: the ALPHA health-related fitness test battery for children and adolescents. Br J Sports Med 45, 518524.
4. Voelcker-Rehage, C & Niemann, C (2013) Structural and functional brain changes related to different types of physical activity across the life span. Neurosci Biobehav Rev 37, 22682295.
5. Voss, MW, Nagamatsu, LS, Liu-Ambrose, T, et al. (2011) Exercise, brain, and cognition across the life span. J Appl Physiol 111, 15051513.
6. Khan, NA & Hillman, C (2014) The relation of childhood physical activity and aerobic fitness to brain function and cognition: a review. Pediatr Exerc Sci 26, 138146.
7. Chaddock, L, Erickson, KI, Prakash, RS, et al. (2010) A neuroimaging investigation of the association between aerobic fitness, hippocampal volume, and memory performance in preadolescent children. Brain Res 1358, 172183.
8. Chaddock, L, Erickson, KI, Prakash, RS, et al. (2010) Basal ganglia volume is associated with aerobic fitness in preadolescent children. Dev Neurosci 32, 249256.
9. Chaddock, L, Hillman, CH, Pontifex, MB, et al. (2012) Childhood aerobic fitness predicts cognitive performance one year later. J Sports Sci 30, 421430.
10. Hillman, CH, Erickson, KI & Kramer, AF (2008) Be smart, exercise your heart: exercise effects on brain and cognition. Nat Rev Neurosci 9, 5865.
11. Sampaio, A, Bouix, S, Sousa, N, et al. (2013) Morphometry of corpus callosum in Williams syndrome: shape as an index of neural development. Brain Struct Funct 218, 711720.
12. Lim, H-K, Hong, SC, Jung, WS, et al. (2012) Hippocampal shape and cognitive performance in amnestic mild cognitive impairment. Neuroreport 23, 364368.
13. Xie, J, Alcantara, D, Amenta, N, et al. (2009) Spatially localized hippocampal shape analysis in late-life cognitive decline. Hippocampus 19, 526532.
14. Cachia, A, Borst, G, Vidal, J, et al. (2014) The shape of the ACC contributes to cognitive control efficiency in preschoolers. J Cogn Neurosci 26, 96106.
15. Sandman, Ca, Head, K, Muftuler, LT, et al. (2014) Shape of the basal ganglia in preadolescent children is associated with cognitive performance. Neuroimage 99, 93102.
16. Decsi, T, Campoy, C & Koletzko, B (2005) Effect of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation in pregnancy: the Nuheal trial. Adv Exp Med Biol 569, 109113.
17. Campoy, C, Escolano-Margarit, MV, Ramos, R, et al. (2011) Effects of prenatal fish-oil and 5-methyltetrahydrofolate supplementation on cognitive development of children at 6.5 y of age. Am J Clin Nutr 94, 6 Suppl., 1880S1888S.
18. Krauss-Etschmann, S, Shadid, R, Campoy, C, et al. (2007) Effects of fish-oil and folate supplementation of pregnant women on maternal and fetal plasma concentrations of docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid: a European randomized multicenter trial. Am J Clin Nutr 85, 13921400.
19. Peckins, MK & Susman, EJ (2015) Variability in diurnal testosterone, exposure to violence, and antisocial behavior in young adolescents. Dev Psychopathol 27, 13411352.
20. Jacobson, SW, Chiodo, LM, Sokol, RJ, et al. (2002) Validity of maternal report of prenatal alcohol, cocaine, and smoking in relation to neurobehavioral outcome. Pediatrics 109, 815825.
21. Ortega, FB, Artero, EG, Ruiz, JR, et al. (2008) Reliability of health-related physical fitness tests in European adolescents. The HELENA Study. Int J Obes (Lond) 32, Suppl. 5, S49S57.
22. Ortega, FB, Artero, EG, Ruiz, JR, et al. (2011) Physical fitness levels among European adolescents: the HELENA study. Br J Sports Med 45, 2029.
23. Léger, LA, Mercier, D, Gadoury, C, et al. (1988) The multistage 20 metre shuttle run test for aerobic fitness. J Sports Sci 6, 93101.
24. Espana-Romero, V, Artero, EG, Santaliestra-Pasias, AM, et al. (2008) Hand span influences optimal grip span in boys and girls aged 6 to 12 years. J Hand Surg Am 33, 378384.
25. Artero, EG, Espana-Romero, V, Castro-Pinero, J, et al. (2012) Criterion-related validity of field-based muscular fitness tests in youth. J Sports Med Phys Fitness 52, 263272.
26. Espana-Romero, V, Ortega, FB, Vicente-Rodriguez, G, et al. (2010) Elbow position affects handgrip strength in adolescents: validity and reliability of Jamar, DynEx, and TKK dynamometers. J Strength Cond Res 24, 272277.
27. Castro-Pinero, J, Ortega, FB, Artero, EG, et al. (2010) Assessing muscular strength in youth: usefulness of standing long jump as a general index of muscular fitness. J Strength Cond Res 24, 18101817.
28. Vicente-Rodriguez, G, Rey-Lopez, JP, Ruiz, JR, et al. (2011) Interrater reliability and time measurement validity of speed-agility field tests in adolescents. J Strength Cond Res 25, 20592063.
29. Artero, EG, Espana-Romero, V, Castro-Pinero, J, et al. (2011) Reliability of field-based fitness tests in youth. Int J Sports Med 32, 159169.
30. Castro-Pinero, J, Artero, EG, Espana-Romero, V, et al. (2010) Criterion-related validity of field-based fitness tests in youth: a systematic review. Br J Sports Med 44, 934943.
31. Raz, N, Lindenberger, U, Rodrigue, KM, et al. (2005) Regional brain changes in aging healthy adults: general trends, individual differences and modifiers. Cereb Cortex 15, 16761689.
32. Lenroot, RK, Gogtay, N, Greenstein, DK, et al. (2007) Sexual dimorphism of brain developmental trajectories during childhood and adolescence. Neuroimage 36, 10651073.
33. Ashburner, J (2007) A fast diffeomorphic image registration algorithm. Neuroimage 38, 95113.
34. Patenaude, B, Smith, SM, Kennedy, DN, et al. (2011) A Bayesian model of shape and appearance for subcortical brain segmentation. Neuroimage 56, 907922.
35. Kennedy, KM, Erickson, KI, Rodrigue, KM, et al. (2009) Age-related differences in regional brain volumes: a comparison of optimized voxel-based morphometry to manual volumetry. Neurobiol Aging 30, 16571676.
36. Patenaude, B, Smith, SM, Kennedy, DN, et al. (2011) A Bayesian model of shape and appearance for subcortical brain segmentation. NeuroImage 56, 907922.
37. Thompson, PM, Hayashi, KM, De Zubicaray, GI, et al. (2004) Mapping hippocampal and ventricular change in Alzheimer disease. Neuroimage 22, 17541766.
38. Blair, RC & Karniski, W (1993) An alternative method for significance testing of waveform difference potentials. Psychophysiology 30, 518524.
39. Pantazis, D, Nichols, TE, Baillet, S, et al. (2005) A comparison of random field theory and permutation methods for the statistical analysis of MEG data. Neuroimage 25, 383394.
40. Thompson, PM, Hayashi, KM, de Zubicaray, G, et al. (2003) Dynamics of gray matter loss in Alzheimer’s disease. J Neurosci 23, 9941005.
41. Nichols, TE & Holmes, AP (2002) Nonparametric permutation tests for functional neuroimaging: a primer with examples. Hum Brain Mapp 15, 125.
42. Nakagawa, S & Cuthill, IC (2007) Effect size, confidence interval and statistical significance: a practical guide for biologists. Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc 82, 591605.
43. Voss, MW, Vivar, C, Kramer, AF, et al. (2013) Bridging animal and human models of exercise-induced brain plasticity. Trends Cogn Sci 17, 525544.
44. Cotman, CW, Berchtold, NC & Christie, LA (2007) Exercise builds brain health: key roles of growth factor cascades and inflammation. Trends Neurosci 30, 464472.
45. Aguiar, ASJ, Speck, AE, Prediger, RDS, et al. (2008) Downhill training upregulates mice hippocampal and striatal brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels. J Neural Transm 115, 12511255.
46. Marais, L, Stein, DJ & Daniels, WMU (2009) Exercise increases BDNF levels in the striatum and decreases depressive-like behavior in chronically stressed rats. Metab Brain Dis 24, 587597.
47. Huang, T, Larsen, KT, Ried-Larsen, M, et al. (2014) The effects of physical activity and exercise on brain-derived neurotrophic factor in healthy humans: a review. Scand J Med Sci Sports 24, 110.
48. Szuhany, KL, Bugatti, M & Otto, MW (2015) A meta-analytic review of the effects of exercise on brain-derived neurotrophic factor. J Psychiatr Res 60, 5664.
49. Liu-Ambrose, T, Nagamatsu, LS, Voss, MW, et al. (2012) Resistance training and functional plasticity of the aging brain: a 12-month randomized controlled trial. NeurobiolAging 33, 16901698.
50. Rojas Vega, S, Knicker, a, Hollmann, W, et al. (2010) Effect of resistance exercise on serum levels of growth factors in humans. Horm Metab Res 42, 982986.
51. Ekelund, U, Franks, PW, Wareham, NJ, et al. (2004) Oxygen uptakes adjusted for body composition in normal-weight and obese adolescents. Obes Res 12, 513520.
52. Gracia-Marco, L, Ortega, FB, Jiménez-Pavón, D, et al. (2012) Adiposity and bone health in Spanish adolescents. The HELENA study. Osteoporos Int 23, 937947.
53. Artero, EG, Espana-Romero, V, Ortega, FB, et al. (2010) Health-related fitness in adolescents: underweight, and not only overweight, as an influencing factor: the AVENA study. Scand J Med Sci Sport 20, 418427.
54. Ortega, FB, Sanchez-Lopez, M, Solera-Martinez, M, et al. (2012) Self-reported and measured cardiorespiratory fitness similarly predict cardiovascular disease risk in young adults. Scand J Med Sci Sport 23, 749757.
55. Janz, KF, Dawson, JD & Mahoney, LT (2000) Tracking physical fitness and physical activity from childhood to adolescence: the muscatine study. Med Sci Sports Exerc 32, 12501257.

Keywords

Type Description Title
WORD
Supplementary materials

Ortega supplementary material
Figures S1-S4

 Word (422 KB)
422 KB

Physical fitness and shapes of subcortical brain structures in children

  • Francisco B. Ortega (a1), Daniel Campos (a2), Cristina Cadenas-Sanchez (a1), Signe Altmäe (a2) (a3), Cristina Martínez-Zaldívar (a2), Miguel Martín-Matillas (a1), Andrés Catena (a4) and Cristina Campoy (a2) (a3)...

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed