Title Gene-exercise interaction on brain health in children with overweight/obesity: the ActiveBrains randomized controlled trial
Authors Plaza-Florido A. , Esteban-Cornejo I. , Mora-Gonzalez J. , Torres-Lopez L.V. , Osuna-Prieto F.J. , GIL COSANO, JOSÉ JUAN, Radom-Aizik S. , Labayen I. , Ruiz J.R. , Altmäe S. , Ortega F.B.
External publication No
Means J Appl Physiol (1985)
Scope Article
Nature Científica
JCR Quartile 2
SJR Quartile 1
Publication date 01/10/2023
DOI 10.1152/japplphysiol.00435.2023
Abstract We investigated the interaction between a genetic score and an exercise intervention on brain health in children with overweight/obesity. One hundred one children with overweight/obesity (10.0 ± 1.5 yr, 59% girls) were randomized into a 20-wk combined exercise intervention or a control group. Several cognitive and academic outcomes were measured with validated tests. Hippocampal volume was quantified using magnetic resonance imaging. Six brain health-related polymorphisms [rs6265 (BDNF), rs2253206 (CREB1), rs2289656 (NTRK2), rs4680 (COMT), rs429358, and rs7412 (APOE)] were genotyped. Cognitive flexibility and academic skills improved significantly more in the exercise than in the control group only in the children with a "favorable" genetic profile [mean z-score, 0.41-0.67 (95% CI 0.11 to 1.18)], yet not in those with "less favorable" genetic profile. An individual response analysis showed that children responded to exercise in cognitive flexibility only in the "genetically favorable" group [i.e., 62% of them had a meaningful (=0.2 Cohen d) increase in the exercise group compared with only 25% in the control group]. This finding was consistent in per-protocol and intention-to-treat analyses (P = 0.01 and P = 0.03, respectively). The results were not significant or not consistent for the rest of outcomes studied. Our findings suggest that having a more favorable genetic profile makes children with overweight/obesity more responsive to exercise, particularly for cognitive flexibility.NEW & NOTEWORTHY Interindividual differences have been reported in brain health-related outcomes in response to exercise interventions in adults, which could be partially explained by genetic background differences. However, the role of genetic polymorphisms on brain health-related outcomes in response to exercise interventions remains unexplored in pediatric population. The current study in children with overweight/obesity showed that a genetic score composed of six brain health-related polymorphisms (BDNF, CREB1, NTRK2, COMT, and APOE) regulated the exercise-induced response on several brain health outcomes, yet mainly and more consistently on cognitive flexibility.
Keywords apolipoprotein E; brain derived neurotrophic factor; adult; brain; child; controlled study; female; genetics; human; male; obesity; randomized controlled trial; Adult; Apolipoproteins E; Brain; Brain-
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