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Approved research

Physical activity, adiposity and brain health

Principal Investigator: Professor Mark Hamer
Approved Research ID: 23476
Approval date: September 1st 2017

Lay summary

Physical activity (PA) may help to preserve and maintain cognitive function and decrease the risk of dementia and Alzheimers disease, which might be linked to lower brain atrophy. These associations may be partly explained by adiposity although links between PA, adiposity and brain atrophy remain poorly understood. We aim to examine the association between objectively measured PA and adiposity with brain volumes (white and grey matter) and functional brain MRI data. This research addresses key areas of interest (dementia and Alzheimers disease), which are crucial to public health. Understanding links between physical activity and brain health is relevant to prevention and informing public health interventions to reduce risk of neurodegenerative diseases. This research will test for associations between physical activity, adiposity, and structural and functional brain measures. We will use data on objective physical activity and MRI scans collected in the Biobank study. We will employ standard statistical tests with freely available software (ie, SPSS) to examine these associations. Other variables such as age, sex, socioeconomic status, other lifestyle factors (smoking, alcohol), and mental health will be used to control for potential confounding and further explore effect modification. full cohort