Physical activity, sedentary time, and fitness in relation to brain shapes in children with overweight/obesity: Links to intelligence
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AuthorCadenas Sánchez, Cristina; Hidalgo Migueles, Jairo; Verdejo Román, Juan; Erickson, Kirk I.; Esteban Cornejo, Irene; Catena Martínez, Andrés; Ortega Porcel, Francisco Bartolomé
Brain shapesCardiorespiratory fitnessCognitive performanceGray matterModerate-to-vigorousMuscular strengthSedentarismSpeed-agility
Cadenas-Sanchez C, Migueles JH, Verdejo-Román J, Erickson KI, Esteban-Cornejo I, Catena A, Ortega FB. Physical activity, sedentary time, and fitness in relation to brain shapes in children with overweight/obesity: Links to intelligence. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2022 Nov 7. doi: 10.1111/sms.14263. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36337011.
SponsorshipAlicia Koplowitz Foundation (grant number, ALICIAK-2018); University of Granada, Plan Propio de Investigación 2016; Excellence actions: Units of Excellence, Unit of Excellence on Exercise and Health (UCEES), the Junta de Andalucía, Consejería de Conocimiento, Investigación y Universidades; European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant number, 667302); SAMID III network, RETICS; Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (grant number, FJC2018-037925-I); European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska Curie grant agreement No 101028929; Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (grant number, RYC2019-027287-I); Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport (grant number, FPU15/02645); Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare (2012–00036); Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities (grant numbers, FJCI-2017-33396 & IJC2019-041916-I); Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness and the “Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional (FEDER)” (grant numbers, DEP2013-47540, DEP2016-79512-R, DEP2017-91544-EXP, and RYC- 2011-09011); Funding for open access charge: Universidad de Granada/CBUA
Objectives: To examine the association between physical activity, sedentary time, and physical fitness with the shapes of subcortical brain structures in children with overweight/obesity. Further, we analyzed whether differences in the shapes of subcortical brain structures were related to intelligence. We hypothesized that those children with higher physical activity levels, lower sedentary time, and better fitness, would show greater expansion of the brain regions analyzed, and these expansions would be associated with higher intelligence. Study design: 100 children (10.0 ± 1.1 years, 40 girls) were included in the analyses. Physical activity and sedentary time were measured by accelerometry, and physical fitness was evaluated by a fitness battery. Shapes of subcortical brain structures were assessed by magnetic resonance imaging. Intelligence was measured by the Kaufmann Brief Intelligence test. Results: Physical activity was related to expansion of the right/left pallidum, right/left putamen, and right thalamus (p < 0.05). Higher sedentary time was related to contraction of the left thalamus and right nucleus accumbens (p < 0.05). Higher levels of cardiorespiratory fitness were associated with expansion of the right amygdala (p = 0.022). Greater strength in the upper-limb was related to expansion of the right/left pallidum and the left nucleus accumbens (p < 0.038), and contraction of the left amygdala (p = 0.030). Better speed-agility was associated with expansion of the left nucleus accumbens (p = 0.036). Physical activity- and fitness-related expansion of the right pallidum was associated with higher intelligence (all p < 0.05). Conclusion: Physical activity, sedentary time, and physical fitness were significantly related to the shapes of subcortical brain structures, which in turn were related to intelligence in children with overweight/obesity. Keywords: brain shapes; cardiorespiratory fitness; cognitive performance; gray matter; moderate-to-vigorous; muscular strength; sedentarism; speed-agility.