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  Hearts and minds: Linking vascular rigidity and aerobic fitness with cognitive aging

Gauthier, C., Lefort, M., Mekary, S., Desjardins-Crépe, L., Skimminge, A., Iversen, P., et al. (2015). Hearts and minds: Linking vascular rigidity and aerobic fitness with cognitive aging. Neurobiology of Aging, 36(1), 304-314. doi:10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2014.08.018.

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Gauthier, Claudine1, 2, 3, Author           
Lefort, Muriel4, Author
Mekary, Saïd2, 5, Author
Desjardins-Crépe, Laurence2, 6, Author
Skimminge, Arnold7, Author
Iversen, Pernille7, Author
Madjar, Cécile2, 8, Author
Desjardins, Michèle4, 9, 10, Author
Lesage, Frédéric4, 9, Author
Garde, Ellen7, Author
Frouin, Frédérique4, Author
Bherer, Louis4, 6, 11, Author
Hoge, Richard D.1, 2, Author
1Department of Physiology, Institute of Biomedical Engineering, University of Montréal, QC, Canada, ou_persistent22              
2Centre de recherche de l'Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal, QC, Canada, ou_persistent22              
3Department Neurophysics, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, Leipzig, DE, ou_634550              
4Université Paris-Sorbonne, France, ou_persistent22              
5Department of Kinesiology, University of Montréal, QC, Canada, ou_persistent22              
6Department of Psychology, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQÀM), QC, Canada, ou_persistent22              
7Danish Research Centre for Magnetic Resonance, Copenhagen University Hospital Hvidovre, Denmark, ou_persistent22              
8Department of Biomedical Engineering, Douglas Mental Health University Institute, McGill University, Montréal, QC, Canada, ou_persistent22              
9Department of Electrical Engineering, École Polytechnique de Montréal, QC, Canada, ou_persistent22              
10Montreal Heart Institute, QC, Canada, ou_persistent22              
11PERFORM Center, Concordia University, Montréal, QC, Canada, ou_persistent22              


Free keywords: Healthy aging; Executive functions; Cardiorespiratory fitness; Aortic rigidity; Cerebrovascular function; Cerebrovascular reactivity; VO2 max; Stroop
 Abstract: Human aging is accompanied by both vascular and cognitive changes. Although arteries throughout the body are known to become stiffer with age, this vessel hardening is believed to start at the level of the aorta and progress to other organs, including the brain. Progression of this vascular impairment may contribute to cognitive changes that arise with a similar time course during aging. Conversely, it has been proposed that regular exercise plays a protective role, attenuating the impact of age on vascular and metabolic physiology. Here, the impact of vascular degradation in the absence of disease was investigated within 2 groups of healthy younger and older adults. Age-related changes in executive function, elasticity of the aortic arch, cardiorespiratory fitness, and cerebrovascular reactivity were quantified, as well as the association between these parameters within the older group. In the cohort studied, older adults exhibited a decline in executive functions, measured as a slower performance in a modified Stroop task (1247.90 ± 204.50 vs. 898.20 ± 211.10 ms on the inhibition and/or switching component, respectively) than younger adults. Older participants also showed higher aortic pulse wave velocity (8.98 ± 3.56 vs. 3.95 ± 0.82 m/s, respectively) and lower VO2 max (29.04 ± 6.92 vs. 42.32 ± 7.31 mL O2/kg/min, respectively) than younger adults. Within the older group, faster performance of the modified Stroop task was associated with preserved aortic elasticity (lower aortic pulse wave velocity; p = 0.046) and higher cardiorespiratory fitness (VO2 max; p = 0.036). Furthermore, VO2 max was found to be negatively associated with blood oxygenation level dependent cerebrovascular reactivity to CO2 in frontal regions involved in the task (p = 0.038) but positively associated with cerebrovascular reactivity in periventricular watershed regions and within the postcentral gyrus. Overall, the results of this study support the hypothesis that cognitive status in aging is linked to vascular health, and that preservation of vessel elasticity may be one of the key mechanisms by which physical exercise helps to alleviate cognitive aging.


Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2014-04-262014-08-152014-08-202015-01-01
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2014.08.018
PMID: 25308963
Other: Epub 2014
 Degree: -



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Title: Neurobiology of Aging
  Other : Neurobiol. Aging
Source Genre: Journal
Publ. Info: New York, NY [etc.] : Elsevier
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 36 (1) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 304 - 314 Identifier: ISSN: 0197-4580
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954925491902