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|Title:||INVESTIGATING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CARDIORESPIRATORY FITNESS AND MEMORY IN OLDER ADULTS|
|Keywords:||Cardiorespiratory fitness;Memory;Aging;Inflammation;Neurotrophic factors|
|Abstract:||Aging is associated with cognitive decline in various domains, including memory. The age-related increase in systemic inflammation has been identified as a potential mechanism contributing to these memory impairments. Specifically, elevated inflammation may impair neurotrophic factor production and function, which is important for maintaining brain health. Physical activity has been identified as a potential strategy for preventing or delaying memory decline, given its ability to reduce inflammation and stimulate neurotrophic factor expression. The present study investigated the relationship between cardiorespiratory fitness, a proxy for habitual physical activity, and memory in older adults. Inflammation and neurotrophic factors were examined as potential mechanisms mediating this relationship. Sixty-five community dwelling older adults (Mage = 70.6 ± 4.0) completed the Rockport 1-mile walk test to predict their cardiorespiratory fitness, as well as the Mnemonic Similarity Task to assess memory. Serum samples were collected to examine inflammatory markers, including interleukin-6 (IL-6), interleukin-1beta (IL-1β), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), and C-reactive protein (CRP), as well as neurotrophic factors, including brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). No relationship was found between cardiorespiratory fitness and memory (p > .05). However, older adults with greater cardiorespiratory fitness had lower levels of IL-6 (p < .01) and TNF-α (p < .01) and trended towards higher levels of BDNF (p = .078). Furthermore, IL-6 was negatively correlated with IGF-1 (p < .01), suggesting higher inflammation may impair IGF-1 production. Contrary to our hypotheses, sequential mediation analyses revealed no indirect effect of inflammatory markers and neurotrophic factors on the relationship between cardiorespiratory fitness and memory. Our results suggest that cardiorespiratory fitness may promote favourable changes in inflammatory markers and neurotrophic factors, which—given previous literature—could help to support brain health with advancing age. More research is needed to further examine the relationship between cardiorespiratory fitness and memory.|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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