Correlation between pulmonary function and brain volume in healthy elderly subjects

Yasuyuki Taki, Shigeo Kinomura, Satoru Ebihara, Benjamin Thyreau, Kazunori Sato, Ryoi Goto, Masako Kakizaki, Ichiro Tsuji, Ryuta Kawashima, Hiroshi Fukuda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Cigarette smoking decreases brain regional gray matter volume and is related to chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD). COPD leads to decreased pulmonary function, which is represented by forced expiratory volume in one second percentage (FEV1.0 %); however, it is unclear if decreased pulmonary function is directly related to brain gray matter volume decline. Because there is a link between COPD and cognitive decline, revealing a direct relationship between pulmonary function and brain structure is important to better understand how pulmonary function affects brain structure and cognitive function. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to analyze whether there were significant correlations between FEV1.0 % and brain regional gray and white matter volumes using brain magnetic resonance (MR) image data from 109 community-dwelling healthy elderly individuals. Methods: Brain MR images were processed with voxel-based morphometry using a custom template by applying diffeomorphic anatomical registration using the exponentiated lie algebra procedure. Results: We found a significant positive correlation between the regional white matter volume of the cerebellum and FEV1.0 % after adjusting for age, sex, and intracranial volume. Conclusion: Our results suggest that elderly individuals who have a lower FEV1.0 % have decreased regional white matter volume in the cerebellum. Therefore, preventing decreased pulmonary function is important for cerebellar white matter volume in the healthy elderly population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)689-695
Number of pages7
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 06-2013
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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