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Physical activity and cerebral small vein integrity in older adults
Shaaban CE, Aizenstein HJ, Jorgensen DR, Mahbubani RLM, Meckes NA, Erickson KI, Glynn NW, Mettenburg J, Guralnik J, Newman AB, Ibrahim TS, Laurienti PJ, Vallejo AN, Rosano C
Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 2019 Aug;51(8):1684-1691
clinical trial
6/10 [Eligibility criteria: No; Random allocation: Yes; Concealed allocation: No; Baseline comparability: Yes; Blind subjects: No; Blind therapists: No; Blind assessors: Yes; Adequate follow-up: Yes; Intention-to-treat analysis: No; Between-group comparisons: Yes; Point estimates and variability: Yes. Note: Eligibility criteria item does not contribute to total score] *This score has been confirmed*

Identifying promoters of cerebral small vein integrity is important to counter vascular contributions to cognitive impairment and dementia. PURPOSE: In this preliminary investigation, the effects of a randomized 24-month physical activity (PA) intervention on changes in cerebral small vein integrity were compared to those of a health education (HE) control. METHODS: Cerebral small vein integrity was measured in 24 older adults (n = 8 PA; n = 16 HE) using ultra-high field MRI before and at the end of the 24-month intervention. Deep medullary veins were defined as straight or tortuous; percent change in straight length, tortuous length, and tortuosity ratio were computed. Microbleed count and white matter hyperintensities were also rated. RESULTS: Accelerometry-based values of PA increased by 17.2% in the PA group but declined by 28.0% in the HE group. The PA group, but not the HE group, had a significant increase in straight vein length from baseline to 24-month follow-up (p = 0.02 and p = 0.21, respectively); the between group difference in percent change in straight length was significant (median (IQR) increase 93.6% (112.9) for PA, 28.4% (90.6) for HE; p = 0.07). Between group differences in other markers were non-significant. CONCLUSION: Increasing PA in late-life may promote cerebral small vein integrity. This should be confirmed in larger studies. Clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT01072500.

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