Karsten Mueller1, Harald E. Mller1, Alfred Anwander1, Franziska Busse1, Annette Horstmann1, 2, Matthias Raschpichler2, Jran Lepsien1, Matthias L. Schroeter1, 3, Matthias Blher2, 4, Arno Villringer1, 3, Burkhard Pleger1, 3
1Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Sachsen, Germany; 2Integrated Research and Treatment Center (IFB) AdiposityDiseases, Leipzig, Sachsen, Germany; 3Clinic for Cognitive Neurology, Leipzig, Sachsen, Germany; 4Department for Internal Medicine, University Hospital Leipzig, Leipzig, Sachsen, Germany
To investigate the influence of intense physical exercise on changes in human brain structure in overweight and obese subjects, a longitudinal MR study was performed with 16 young participants before and after a 3-month fitness course with intense training twice a week. Scanning protocol included the acquisition of high resolution T1- and diffusion-weighted images using a 3T TIM Trio system (Siemens, Erlangen) with a 12-channel head array coil. Grey and white matter changes were detected using voxel-based morphometry and tract-based spatial statistics. The comparison of images before and after the fitness course suggests that physical exercise together with the parallel loss in body weight can reverse some of the overweight-related structural brain changes.