Physical activity and dentate gyrus volume in pediatric acquired demyelinating syndromes

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ObjectiveTo assess the association between daily moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and dentate gyrus volume (DGv) in pediatric patients with acquired demyelinating syndromes (ADSs) of the CNS.MethodsCross-sectional analysis of accelerometry (7 days) and research protocol MRI data from 12 pediatric MS and 18 children with monophasic ADS (monoADS). Total brain and DGv were quantified using standardized methods. The association of daily minutes of MVPA with normalized DGv (nDGv) was assessed using multivariable generalized linear models.ResultsMedian (interquartile range) MVPA was lower in MS patients [9.5 (14)] and exhibited less variation than in monoADS patients [24.5 (47)]. nDGv did not differ significantly between groups [mean nDGv (SD) [cm3]: MS 0.34 (0.1); monoADS 0.4 (0.1); p = 0.100]. In the monoADS group, every 1-minute increase in MVPA was associated with a 2.4-mm3 increase in nDGv (p = 0.0017), an association that was independent of age at incident demyelination, time from incident demyelination, sex, and brain white matter T2 lesion volume. No significant association was found between MVPA and nDGv (−2.6 mm3/min, p = 0.16) in the MS group.ConclusionsHigher MVPA associates with greater nDGv in children who have recovered from monophasic demyelination. Larger studies are required to determine whether MVPA can promote regional brain development, or limit tissue damage, in youth with MS.

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