Lifestyle-dependent brain change: a longitudinal cohort MRI study

Regina EY Kim, Chang Ho Yun, Robert J. Thomas, Jang Hoon Oh, Hans J. Johnson, Soriul Kim, Seungku Lee, Hyung Suk Seo, Chol Shin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


We investigated both independent and interconnected effects of 3 lifestyle factors on brain volume, measuring yearly changes using large-scale longitudinal magnetic resonance imaging, in middle-aged to older adults. We measured brain volumes in a cohort (n = 984, 49–79 years) from the Korean Genome and Epidemiology Study group, using baseline and follow-up estimates after 4 years. In our analysis, the accelerated brain atrophy in normal aging was observed across regions (e.g., brain tissue: -0.098 ± 0.01 mL/y, p < 0.001). An independent lifestyle-specific trend of brain atrophy across time was also evident in men, where smoking (p = 0.012) and physical activity (p = 0.014) showed the strongest association with the atrophy rate. Linear regression analysis of the interconnected effect revealed that brain atrophy is mitigated by intense physical activity in smoking males. Lifestyle factors did not show any significant effect on brain volume in women. These results provide important information regarding lifestyle factors that affect brain aging in mid-to-late adulthood. Our findings may aid in the identification of preventive measures against dementia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-57
Number of pages10
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Sept


  • Aging
  • Brain atrophy
  • Lifestyle
  • Longitudinal MRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Ageing
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Developmental Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Lifestyle-dependent brain change: a longitudinal cohort MRI study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this