Exercise, Age-Related Memory Decline, And Hippocampal Function

This study is currently recruiting participants. (see Contacts and Locations)
Verified September 2014 by New York State Psychiatric Institute
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
New York State Psychiatric Institute
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier:
First received: July 28, 2010
Last updated: September 11, 2014
Last verified: September 2014

The purpose of this study is to test the hypothesis that aerobic exercise leads increased cerebral blood volume in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus in a sample of young and older adults.

Condition Intervention
Cognitive Deterioration
Disorder of Aging
Behavioral: aerobic training
Behavioral: Wait list

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single Blind (Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Basic Science
Official Title: Exercise, Age-Related Memory Decline, And Hippocampal Function

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by New York State Psychiatric Institute:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • dentate gyrus cerebral blood volume [ Time Frame: change from before (pre) to after (post) 12 weeks of training ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • cognitive function [ Time Frame: change from before (pre) to after (post) 12 weeks of training ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
    measures of memory, executive function, attention/processing speed, language, and general intelligence

  • aerobic capacity [ Time Frame: change from before (pre) to after (post) 12 weeks of training ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
  • cerebral blood flow [ Time Frame: change from before (pre) to after (post) 12 weeks of training ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
    arterial spin labeling fMRI

Estimated Enrollment: 182
Study Start Date: June 2011
Estimated Study Completion Date: July 2015
Estimated Primary Completion Date: July 2015 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: aerobic training
12 weeks of aerobic training, 4X/week
Behavioral: aerobic training
12 weeks of aerobic training, 4X/week
Other Name: Aerobic training
Placebo Comparator: wait list control
wait list control condition, 12 weeks to parallel the active intervention group
Behavioral: Wait list
wait list control condition
Other Name: Wait list control

Detailed Description:

In the US, increased length of life and reduced morbidity and mortality have resulted in a growing number of older adults, the demographic "time bomb" often referred to in discussions of public policy. According to the Census Bureau, the population aged 65 and over will double in size within the next 25 years. Moreover, these older adults will live healthier lives than their predecessors. While this increased length of a healthy life is an undeniable societal benefit, it brings with it a major societal problem: an epidemic of aging-related cognitive decline. The need to develop interventions to address this growing problem is urgent. Aging-related cognitive dysfunction is not diffuse; rather it targets selected brain areas, in particular the frontal lobes and the hippocampal formation. The separate but interconnected subregions of the hippocampus are differentially vulnerable to pathogenic mechanisms, including the normal aging process. A range of in vivo and post-mortem studies have converged on the dentate gyrus (DG) as the hippocampal subregion differentially targeted by the aging process. As with pathogenic processes, any intervention that improves brain function does so with regional selectivity. One such intervention is physical exercise, which has been shown to improve both frontal lobe and hippocampal function. Using a high-resolution variant of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), the investigators have demonstrated that aerobic training selectively benefitted DG function both humans and mice. In addition, improvement in DG function was associated with improved performance on a word list learning task but not in tasks conventionally thought to be frontal lobe dependent. The human part of the study had significant shortcomings, however: it was small (N = 11), lacked a control group, enrolled only young subjects (age 20-45 years), and employed only a limited neuropsychological testing battery. The overall goal of this proposal is to use the high-resolution variant of fMRI to test the hypothesis that aerobic training will induce improvements in DG function in a sample of younger (age 20-35) and older (50-65) adults, assigned randomly to an active training condition or wait list control group. The investigators will use more comprehensive neuropsychological testing to examine the relationship between changes in DG function and selected cognitive capacities. Taken together with the observation that normal aging differentially targets the DG, this research program will establish that physical exercise is an effective approach for ameliorating the insidious cognitive slide that occurs in aging. Thus, the potential significance of this application is substantial.


Ages Eligible for Study:   20 Years to 75 Years
Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  1. Age 20-75 years
  2. English-speaking
  3. Ambulatory
  4. "Average" fitness as determined by AHA standards (VO2max < 43 and 36 ml/kg/min for men age 20-35 years and 50-65 years, respectively; < 36 and 29 ml/kg/min for women age 20-35 years and 50-65 years respectively)
  5. BMI <35

Exclusion Criteria:

  1. BMI < 18
  2. Ischemic changes, abnormal blood pressure responses, or any significant ectopy during aerobic capacity testing
  3. Cardiovascular disease
  4. Uncontrolled high blood pressure (systolic blood pressure ≥ 180 mmHg; or diastolic blood pressure ≥ 105 mmHg on two measures)
  5. Current or recent (evidence of disease x 5 years) non-skin neoplastic disease or melanoma. Prostatic carcinoma will not be grounds for exclusion.
  6. Active hepatic disease (not a history of hepatitis) or primary renal disease requiring dialysis, primary untreated endocrine diseases, e.g., Cushing's disease or primary hypothalamic failure or insulin dependent diabetes (Type I or II). Well-treated hypothyroidism will not be excluded.
  7. HIV infection
  8. Pregnant or lactating (participation allowed 3 months after ceasing lactation).
  9. Medications that alter inflammation or autonomic nervous system activity
  10. Any history of psychosis or ECT
  11. Psychotic disorder (lifetime)
  12. Current or recent (past 5 years) Major Depressive Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, or Anxiety disorder
  13. Current or recent (within past 12 months) alcohol or substance abuse or dependence. Recent use (past month) of recreational drugs.
  14. Dietary supplements that affect inflammation or the ANS
  15. Cardiac Pacemaker
  16. Internal Pump
  17. Insulin Pump
  18. Tattoo eyeliner
  19. Wire Sutures
  20. Internal Metal Objects
  21. Metal Slivers in Eye
  22. Prosthesis
  23. Hearing Aid Implants
  24. Neurostimulator
  25. Metal Fragments
  26. Brain Aneurysm Clips
  27. Vascular Clips
  28. Breast Expander
  29. Vena Cava Filter
  30. Heart Valve
  31. Metal Stents
  32. Asthma
  33. Hay-Fever
  34. Sickle Cell Disease
  35. Kidney Disease
  36. Pregnant
  37. Machinist or ever worked with heavy metals
  38. Contraindication to gadolinium, including prior adverse reaction to gadolinium, past or current history of severe breathing difficulty that has been treated by a physician (e.g., asthma, COPD, etc.), and sickle cell disease. History of renal impairment or estimated glomerular filtration rate <30 L/min/1.73m2 is also exclusionary.
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01329653

Contact: Vincenzo Lauriola, MS 6467748952 lauriol@nyspi.columbia.edu

United States, New York
Columbia University Medical Center Recruiting
New York, New York, United States, 10032
Contact: Vincenzo Lauriola, MS    646-774-8952    lauriol@nyspi.columbia.edu   
Principal Investigator: Richard P Sloan, PhD         
Sponsors and Collaborators
New York State Psychiatric Institute
Principal Investigator: Richard P Sloan, PhD Columbia University
  More Information

Responsible Party: New York State Psychiatric Institute
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01329653     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 6219, AG035015
Study First Received: July 28, 2010
Last Updated: September 11, 2014
Health Authority: United States: Institutional Review Board

Keywords provided by New York State Psychiatric Institute:
cerebral blood volume

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Cognition Disorders
Delirium, Dementia, Amnestic, Cognitive Disorders
Mental Disorders

ClinicalTrials.gov processed this record on August 31, 2015