Breaking News
April 20, 2019 - Parenteral Antimicrobial Tx at Home Burdens Children’s Caregivers
April 20, 2019 - Diabetes treatment may keep dementia, Alzheimer’s at bay
April 20, 2019 - New bandage-like biosensor collects and analyzes sweat
April 20, 2019 - A comprehensive, centralized database of bovine milk compounds
April 20, 2019 - Two new epigenetic regulators maintain self-renewal of embryonic stem cells
April 20, 2019 - New Evidence That Veggies Beat Steak for Heart Health
April 20, 2019 - Study reveals genes associated with heavy drinking and alcoholism
April 20, 2019 - Texas A&M AgriLife becomes the newest member of NutriRECS international consortium
April 20, 2019 - In most states, insurance won’t cover addiction treatments
April 20, 2019 - Computer-based memory games may be beneficial for individuals with fragile X syndrome
April 20, 2019 - Timing of food intake influences molecular clock in the liver of mice
April 20, 2019 - Precise decoding of breast cancer cells paves way for new treatment option
April 20, 2019 - Scientists use 3D imaging to help model complex processes performed by placenta
April 20, 2019 - MediciNova Announces Plans to Move Forward with a Phase 3 Trial of MN-166 (ibudilast) in ALS
April 20, 2019 - Genetic variants that protect against obesity could aid new weight loss medicines
April 20, 2019 - New technology developed for microscopic imaging in living organisms
April 20, 2019 - when quitting cigarettes, consider using more nicotine, not less
April 20, 2019 - Key proteins can block Listeria without triggering the death of host cells
April 20, 2019 - Researchers create a working model of cerebral tract to study brain function
April 20, 2019 - New study shows that microbes can help break toxic chemical in dust
April 20, 2019 - Scientists use NIR light and injected DNA nanodevice to guide stem cells to injury
April 20, 2019 - Microbial Features ID’d for Pediatric Irritable Bowel Syndrome
April 20, 2019 - Study reveals patterns of drug intoxication deaths, organ donors across the US
April 20, 2019 - Scientists deploy CRISPR gene-editing tool to engineer multiple edits
April 20, 2019 - AHA News: Here’s How Middle-Aged People — Especially Women — Can Avoid a Heart Attack
April 20, 2019 - Charcot foot: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia
April 20, 2019 - France to ban popular breast implants over cancer risk: media
April 20, 2019 - Researchers explore whether time of day can affect the body’s response to physical exertion
April 20, 2019 - CPAP brings longer life for obese people with sleep apnea: Study
April 20, 2019 - New discovery transforms conventional microfluidics into open-space microfluidics
April 20, 2019 - An accurate estimation of the overall cost of bacterial resistance in French hospitals during 2015 and 2016
April 20, 2019 - ‘PRO-cision Medicine’ approach helps personalize care for patients with cancer
April 19, 2019 - TG Therapeutics Receives Orphan Drug Designation for Umbralisib from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the Treatment of Marginal Zone Lymphoma
April 19, 2019 - Screen time—even before bed—has little impact on teen well-being: study
April 19, 2019 - Cytosurge’s first FluidFM User Conference
April 19, 2019 - New study finds that previously described differences among endoscopists are not true
April 19, 2019 - Study compares effectiveness and cost of gene therapy and HSCT in major beta-thalassemia
April 19, 2019 - Scientific breakthrough provides new hope for people living with multiple sclerosis
April 19, 2019 - New Virtual Reality Therapy game could offer relief for patients with chronic pain, mobility issues
April 19, 2019 - Emergency medicine doctors find better way to treat severe epileptic seizures in children
April 19, 2019 - MedlinePlus: Cholesterol Good and Bad
April 19, 2019 - For busy medical students, two-hour meditation study may be as beneficial as longer course
April 19, 2019 - Music therapy helps young patients feel better
April 19, 2019 - Molecular target UNC45A is essential for cancer cell proliferation and tumor growth
April 19, 2019 - Crackling and wheezing could be the sounds of a progressing lung disease
April 19, 2019 - Key research takeaways from ECCMID 2019
April 19, 2019 - AI Can Identify Model of Cardiac Rhythm Device From Chest X-Ray
April 19, 2019 - New way to combat childhood anxiety: treat the parents
April 19, 2019 - Women getting C-sections best judge of own pain medication needs | News Center
April 19, 2019 - Light-intensity physical activity associated with healthy brain aging
April 19, 2019 - Immune responses that prevent fungal infections may eliminate Trichinella spiralis
April 19, 2019 - Exercising in the morning, rather than at night, may yield better results, shows study
April 19, 2019 - Why eating ‘right’ could cause you to stray from your diet
April 19, 2019 - Health Tip: Antidepressant Precautions – Drugs.com MedNews
April 19, 2019 - Bigger portions lead to preschoolers eating more over time
April 19, 2019 - Specific strains of Staphylococcus aureus linked to wounds that do not heal
April 19, 2019 - Morning exercise may burn more calories
April 19, 2019 - Nominations invited for prestigious awards at Pittcon Conference & Expo 2020
April 19, 2019 - Revolutionary discovery paves new way for treatment of necrotizing enterocolitis
April 19, 2019 - Drug that treats high blood pressure shows promise against neurodegenerative diseases
April 19, 2019 - More care is needed for patients after kidney transplantations, reports research
April 19, 2019 - Virtual reality offers benefits for Parkinson’s disease patients
April 19, 2019 - Liver Illness Strikes Latino Children Like A ‘Silent Tsunami’
April 19, 2019 - Disruptive behaviors in autistic children linked to reduced brain connectivity
April 19, 2019 - New insights into how vitamin D affects immune system
April 19, 2019 - Microfluidic-based drug screening chip identifies antibiotic interactions in eight hours
April 19, 2019 - Research sheds light on how hepatitis B virus establishes chronic infection
April 19, 2019 - New scoring system based on genetic markers predicts obesity risk at birth
April 19, 2019 - Pfizer Announces Presentation of Data from a Phase 2 Study of its 20-Valent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine Candidate Being Investigated for the Prevention of Invasive Disease and Pneumonia in Adults Aged 18 Years and Older
April 19, 2019 - Exercise can improve non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease
April 19, 2019 - Phasefocus to launch new cell imaging system
April 19, 2019 - KZFPs play a key role in the regulation of human genome
April 19, 2019 - DWK Life Sciences offers Workflow Solutions to improve productivity
April 19, 2019 - Bedfont wins 2nd accolade at the South East FSB Awards 2019
April 19, 2019 - Extracts of ginkgo seeds show antibacterial activity on pathogens that cause skin infections
April 19, 2019 - Groundbreaking experiment in pigs challenges the notion about brain damage
April 19, 2019 - Improving the quality of digital pathology imaging
April 19, 2019 - Scientists get closer to injecting artificial lymph nodes into people to fight disease
April 19, 2019 - Exercises and swimming goggles may reduce adverse effects on eye during long spaceflights
April 19, 2019 - Review suggests a reciprocal relationship between obesity and self-control
Research links participation in team sports to larger hippocampal volumes in children

Research links participation in team sports to larger hippocampal volumes in children

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

Adult depression has long been associated with shrinkage of the hippocampus, a brain region that plays an important role in memory and response to stress. Now, new research from Washington University in St. Louis has linked participation in team sports to larger hippocampal volumes in children and less depression in boys ages 9 to 11.

“Our findings are important because they help illuminate the relationships between involvement in sports, volume of a particular brain region and depressive symptoms in kids as young as nine,” said Lisa Gorham, lead author of the study and a senior majoring in cognitive neuroscience in Arts & Sciences.

“We found that involvement in sports, but not non-sport activities such as music or art, is related to greater hippocampal volume in both boys and girls, and is related to reduced depression in boys,” Gorham said.

These relationships were particularly strong for children participating in sports that involved structure, such as a school team, a non-school league or regular lessons, as compared to more informal engagement in sports, according to the study, which is forthcoming in the journal Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging.

The findings raise the intriguing possibility that there is some added benefit of the team or structured component of sports, such as the social interaction or the regularity that these activities provide, said Deanna Barch, senior author on the study, chair of the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences in Arts & Sciences and the Gregory B. Couch Professor of Psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

The study is based on a nationwide sample of 4,191 children ages 9-11 years from the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development Study. Parents provided information on their child’s participation in sports and other activities and on depressive symptoms. Brain scans of the children provided data on their bilateral hippocampal volume.

Additional co-authors include Terry Jernigan, a neuropsychologist at University of California, San Diego; and Jim Hudziak, chief of child psychiatry at the University of Vermont.

While other studies have shown the positive impact of exercise on depression and the link with hippocampal volume in adults, this study is among the first to show that participation in team sports may have similar anti-depressant effects in preteen children.

Learn more about Gorham

Lisa Gorham, captain of the Washington University in St. Louis cross-country, track and indoor track teams, had personal experience to drive her research interest. Read her story as an athlete and undergraduate researcher: https://source.wustl.edu/2019/03/student-gorham-excels-in-the-lab-on-the-track/

The results indicated that there was an association between sports involvement and hippocampal volume in girls, but unlike boys, no additional association with depression. This might mean that different factors contribute to depression in girls, or that a stronger association to sports involvement might emerge at a later developmental period for girls.

It’s important to note, wrote Barch and Gorham, that these results are correlational, not causational. It could be that participating in sports leads to increased hippocampal volume and decreased depression, or it could be that children who are more depressed are less likely to engage in sports and also have smaller hippocampal volume. Either scenario could have important implications for understanding childhood depression.

“The fact that these relationships were strongest for team or structured sports suggests that there might be something about the combination of exercise and the social support or structure that comes from being on a team that can be useful at preventing or treating depression in young people,” Gorham said. “The findings raise intriguing possibilities for new work on preventing and treating depression in children.”

Confirming the impact of team sports on brain development and mood would provide strong support for encouraging children to participate in structured sports that provide both exercise and social interaction.

“These interesting results provide important clues as to how exercise benefits mood in children and reveals the important role that gender plays in these effects,” said Cameron Carter, MD, editor of Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging and professor of psychiatry and psychology at the University of California, Davis.

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles