The Association Between Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Resting-State Prefrontal Cortex Oxygenation Is Modified by Self-Reported Physical Activity: Results From The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing

Cillian P. McDowell, Louise Newman, Derek C. Monroe, John D. O'Connor, Silvin P. Knight, Rose Anne Kenny, Matt P. Herring

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Abstract

Individuals with anxiety disorders exhibit lower intrinsic functional connectivity between prefrontal cortical areas and subcortical regions. The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is sensitive to the acute and chronic effects of physical activity (PA), while the anxiolytic effects of PA are well known. The current study examined the association of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and its interaction with PA, with resting-state, left PFC oxygenation. This cross-sectional study used data from participants (N = 2444) from The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing, a nationally representative prospective study of community-living adults aged 50 and older in Ireland. The Composite International Diagnostic Interview Short-Form determined fulfillment of criteria for GAD. The short-form International Physical Activity Questionnaire determined adherence to the World Health Organization PA guidelines. Resting-state, left PFC oxygenation was continuously measured via a Portalite. Tissue saturation index (TSI) was calculated as the ratio of oxygenated hemoglobin to total tissue hemoglobin (expressed as a percentage) for the final minute of a 5-minute supine-rest period. Multivariable linear regression quantified associations of GAD with TSI in the total population and population stratified by PA status. Participants with GAD had lower TSI (b =-1.416, p =. 008) compared to those without GAD. However, this association was modified by PA. Among participants who met the PA guidelines, TSI did not differ according to GAD status (b =-0.800, p =. 398). For participants who did not meet the guidelines, TSI was significantly lower among those with GAD (b =-1.758, p =. 004). These findings suggest that PA may help to protect brain health among older adults with GAD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1391-1397
Number of pages7
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Volume76
Issue number8
Early online date29 Mar 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Aug 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved.

Copyright:
Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • aging
  • Brain
  • Epidemiology
  • Exercise
  • Health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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