Associations of neighborhood environment with brain imaging outcomes in the Australian Imaging, Biomarkers and Lifestyle cohort

Ester Cerin, Stephanie R. Rainey-Smith, David Ames, Nicola T. Lautenschlager, S. Lance Macaulay, Christopher Fowler, Joanne S. Robertson, Christopher C. Rowe, Paul Maruff, Ralph N. Martins, Colin L. Masters, Kathryn A. Ellis

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10 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: "Walkable" neighborhoods offer older adults opportunities for activities that may benefit cognition-related biological mechanisms. These have not previously been examined in this context.

Methods: We objectively assessed neighborhood walkability for participants (n = 146) from the Australian Imaging, Biomarkers and Lifestyle study with apolipoprotein E (APOE) genotype and two 18-month-apart brain volumetric and/or amyloid beta burden assessments. Linear mixed models estimated associations of neighborhood walkability with levels and changes in brain imaging outcomes, the moderating effect of APOE epsilon 4 status, and the extent to which associations were explained by physical activity.

Results: Cross-sectionally, neighborhood walkability was predictive of better neuroimaging outcomes except for left hippocampal volume. These associations were to a small extent explained by physical activity. APOE epsilon 4 carriers showed slower worsening of outcomes if living in walkable neighborhoods.

Discussion: These findings indicate associations between neighborhood walkability and brain imaging measures (especially in APOE epsilon 4 carriers) minimally attributable to physical activity. (C) 2016 the Alzheimer's Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)388-398
Number of pages11
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017
Externally publishedYes

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