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Performance-related increases in hippocampal N-acetylaspartate (NAA) induced by spatial navigation training are restricted to BDNF Val Homozygotes

(2011) CEREBRAL CORTEX. 21(6). p.1435-1442
Author
Organization
Abstract
Recent evidence indicates experience-dependent brain volume changes in humans, but the functional and histological nature of such changes is unknown. Here, we report that adult men performing a cognitively demanding spatial navigation task every other day over 4 months display increases in hippocampal N-acetylaspartate (NAA) as measured with magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Unlike measures of brain volume, changes in NAA are sensitive to metabolic and functional aspects of neural and glia tissue and unlikely to reflect changes in microvasculature. Training-induced changes in NAA were, however, absent in carriers of the Met substitution in the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gene, which is known to reduce activity-dependent secretion of BDNF. Among BDNF Val homozygotes, increases in NAA were strongly related to the degree of practice-related improvement in navigation performance and normalized to pretraining levels 4 months after the last training session. We conclude that changes in demands on spatial navigation can alter hippocampal NAA concentrations, confirming epidemiological studies suggesting that mental experience may have direct effects on neural integrity and cognitive performance. BDNF genotype moderates these plastic changes, in line with the contention that gene-context interactions shape the ontogeny of complex phenotypes.
Keywords
VAL66MET POLYMORPHISM, ACTIVITY-DEPENDENT SECRETION, NEUROTROPHIC FACTOR, TAXI DRIVERS, HUMAN-MEMORY, BRAIN, PLASTICITY, EXPERIENCE, STRATEGIES, NEURONS, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), cognitive training, hippocampus, N-acetylaspartate (NAA), spatial navigation

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MLA
Lövden, Martin et al. “Performance-related Increases in Hippocampal N-acetylaspartate (NAA) Induced by Spatial Navigation Training Are Restricted to BDNF Val Homozygotes.” CEREBRAL CORTEX 21.6 (2011): 1435–1442. Print.
APA
Lövden, M., Schäfer, S., Noack, H., Bodammer, N., Kühn, S., Kanowski, M., Kaufmann, J., et al. (2011). Performance-related increases in hippocampal N-acetylaspartate (NAA) induced by spatial navigation training are restricted to BDNF Val Homozygotes. CEREBRAL CORTEX, 21(6), 1435–1442.
Chicago author-date
Lövden, Martin, Sabine Schäfer, Hannes Noack, Nils Bodammer, Simone Kühn, Martin Kanowski, Jörn Kaufmann, et al. 2011. “Performance-related Increases in Hippocampal N-acetylaspartate (NAA) Induced by Spatial Navigation Training Are Restricted to BDNF Val Homozygotes.” Cerebral Cortex 21 (6): 1435–1442.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Lövden, Martin, Sabine Schäfer, Hannes Noack, Nils Bodammer, Simone Kühn, Martin Kanowski, Jörn Kaufmann, Claus Tempelmann, H-J Heinze, Emrah Düzel, Lars Bäckmann, and Ulman Lindenberger. 2011. “Performance-related Increases in Hippocampal N-acetylaspartate (NAA) Induced by Spatial Navigation Training Are Restricted to BDNF Val Homozygotes.” Cerebral Cortex 21 (6): 1435–1442.
Vancouver
1.
Lövden M, Schäfer S, Noack H, Bodammer N, Kühn S, Kanowski M, et al. Performance-related increases in hippocampal N-acetylaspartate (NAA) induced by spatial navigation training are restricted to BDNF Val Homozygotes. CEREBRAL CORTEX. 2011;21(6):1435–42.
IEEE
[1]
M. Lövden et al., “Performance-related increases in hippocampal N-acetylaspartate (NAA) induced by spatial navigation training are restricted to BDNF Val Homozygotes,” CEREBRAL CORTEX, vol. 21, no. 6, pp. 1435–1442, 2011.
@article{1090306,
  abstract     = {Recent evidence indicates experience-dependent brain volume changes in humans, but the functional and histological nature of such changes is unknown. Here, we report that adult men performing a cognitively demanding spatial navigation task every other day over 4 months display increases in hippocampal N-acetylaspartate (NAA) as measured with magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Unlike measures of brain volume, changes in NAA are sensitive to metabolic and functional aspects of neural and glia tissue and unlikely to reflect changes in microvasculature. Training-induced changes in NAA were, however, absent in carriers of the Met substitution in the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gene, which is known to reduce activity-dependent secretion of BDNF. Among BDNF Val homozygotes, increases in NAA were strongly related to the degree of practice-related improvement in navigation performance and normalized to pretraining levels 4 months after the last training session. We conclude that changes in demands on spatial navigation can alter hippocampal NAA concentrations, confirming epidemiological studies suggesting that mental experience may have direct effects on neural integrity and cognitive performance. BDNF genotype moderates these plastic changes, in line with the contention that gene-context interactions shape the ontogeny of complex phenotypes.},
  author       = {Lövden, Martin and Schäfer, Sabine and Noack, Hannes  and Bodammer, Nils and Kühn, Simone and Kanowski, Martin and Kaufmann, Jörn and Tempelmann, Claus and Heinze, H-J and Düzel, Emrah and Bäckmann, Lars and Lindenberger, Ulman},
  issn         = {1047-3211},
  journal      = {CEREBRAL CORTEX},
  keywords     = {VAL66MET POLYMORPHISM,ACTIVITY-DEPENDENT SECRETION,NEUROTROPHIC FACTOR,TAXI DRIVERS,HUMAN-MEMORY,BRAIN,PLASTICITY,EXPERIENCE,STRATEGIES,NEURONS,brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF),cognitive training,hippocampus,N-acetylaspartate (NAA),spatial navigation},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {6},
  pages        = {1435--1442},
  title        = {Performance-related increases in hippocampal N-acetylaspartate (NAA) induced by spatial navigation training are restricted to BDNF Val Homozygotes},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhq230},
  volume       = {21},
  year         = {2011},
}

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