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Spatial navigation training protects the hippocampus against age-related changes during early and late adulthood

Lövdén, Martin LU ; Schaefer, Sabine; Noack, Hannes; Bodammer, Nils Christian; Kühn, Simone; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Düzel, Emrah; Bäckman, Lars and Lindenberger, Ulman (2012) In Neurobiology of Aging 33.
Abstract
It is unknown whether lifestyle, including mental stimulation, and appropriate training interventions, may directly improve spatial navigation performance and its underlying neural substrates. Here we report that healthy younger and older men performing a cognitively demanding spatial navigation task every other day over 4 months display navigation-related gains in performance and stable hippocampal volumes that were maintained 4 months after termination of training. In contrast, control groups displayed volume decrements consistent with longitudinal estimates of age-related decline. Hippocampal barrier density, as indicated by mean diffusivity estimated from diffusion tensor imaging, showed a quadratic shape of increased density after... (More)
It is unknown whether lifestyle, including mental stimulation, and appropriate training interventions, may directly improve spatial navigation performance and its underlying neural substrates. Here we report that healthy younger and older men performing a cognitively demanding spatial navigation task every other day over 4 months display navigation-related gains in performance and stable hippocampal volumes that were maintained 4 months after termination of training. In contrast, control groups displayed volume decrements consistent with longitudinal estimates of age-related decline. Hippocampal barrier density, as indicated by mean diffusivity estimated from diffusion tensor imaging, showed a quadratic shape of increased density after training followed by a return to baseline in the right hippocampus, but declined in the control groups and in the left hippocampus. We conclude that sustained experiential demands on spatial ability protect hippocampal integrity against age-related decline. These results provide the first longitudinal evidence indicating that spatial navigation experience modifies hippocampal volumes in humans, and confirm epidemiological results suggesting that mental stimulation may have direct effects on neural integrity. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Neurobiology of Aging
volume
33
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • wos:000299786000027
  • scopus:84855760423
ISSN
1558-1497
DOI
10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2011.02.013
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
5a39fd93-b2d5-4149-bb01-6a0604b2c641 (old id 1937038)
date added to LUP
2011-05-31 13:45:53
date last changed
2017-09-24 03:10:26
@article{5a39fd93-b2d5-4149-bb01-6a0604b2c641,
  abstract     = {It is unknown whether lifestyle, including mental stimulation, and appropriate training interventions, may directly improve spatial navigation performance and its underlying neural substrates. Here we report that healthy younger and older men performing a cognitively demanding spatial navigation task every other day over 4 months display navigation-related gains in performance and stable hippocampal volumes that were maintained 4 months after termination of training. In contrast, control groups displayed volume decrements consistent with longitudinal estimates of age-related decline. Hippocampal barrier density, as indicated by mean diffusivity estimated from diffusion tensor imaging, showed a quadratic shape of increased density after training followed by a return to baseline in the right hippocampus, but declined in the control groups and in the left hippocampus. We conclude that sustained experiential demands on spatial ability protect hippocampal integrity against age-related decline. These results provide the first longitudinal evidence indicating that spatial navigation experience modifies hippocampal volumes in humans, and confirm epidemiological results suggesting that mental stimulation may have direct effects on neural integrity.},
  author       = {Lövdén, Martin and Schaefer, Sabine and Noack, Hannes and Bodammer, Nils Christian and Kühn, Simone and Heinze, Hans-Jochen and Düzel, Emrah and Bäckman, Lars and Lindenberger, Ulman},
  issn         = {1558-1497},
  language     = {eng},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Neurobiology of Aging},
  title        = {Spatial navigation training protects the hippocampus against age-related changes during early and late adulthood},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2011.02.013},
  volume       = {33},
  year         = {2012},
}