The modulation effects of the mind-body and physical exercises on the basolateral amygdala-temporal pole pathway on individuals with knee osteoarthritis

Author: Jiao Liu1,2,3, Weilin Liu1, Jia Huang1,4, Yajun Wang1,4, Baoru Zhao1,4, Peiling Zeng1,4, Guiyan Cai1,4, Ruilin Chen1,4, Kun Hu1,4, YouXue Tu1,4, Meiqin Lin1,4, Jian Kong3, Jing Tao1,4,5, Lidian Chen1,4,5
1 National-Local Joint Engineering Research Center of Rehabilitation Medicine Technology, Fujian University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, China.
2 School of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China.
3 Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, United States.
4 College of Rehabilitation Medicine, Fujian University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, China.
5 Traditional Chinese Medicine Rehabilitation Research Center of State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Fujian University of Traditional Chinese, China.
Conference/Journal: Int J Clin Health Psychol
Date published: 2024 Jan-Mar
Other: Volume ID: 24 , Issue ID: 1 , Pages: 100421 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1016/j.ijchp.2023.100421. , Word Count: 263

To investigate the modulatory effects of different physical exercise modalities on connectivity of amygdala subregions and its association with pain symptoms in patients with knee osteoarthritis (KOA).

140 patients with KOA were randomly allocated either to the Tai Chi, Baduanjin, Stationary cycling, or health education group and conducted a 12 week-long intervention in one of the four groups. The behavioral, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and blood data were collected at baseline and the end of the study.

Compared to the control group, all physical exercise modalities lead to significant increases in Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS) pain score (pain relief) and serum Programmed Death-1 (PD-1) levels. Additionally, all physical exercise modalities resulted in decreased resting state functional connectivity (rsFC) of the basolateral amygdala (BA)-temporal pole and BA-medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). The overlapping BA-temporal pole rsFC observed in both Tai Chi and Baduanjin groups was significantly associated with pain relief, while the BA-mPFC rsFC was significantly associated with PD-1 levels. In addition, we found increased fractional anisotropy (FA) values, a measurement of water diffusion anisotropy of tissue that responded to changes in brain microstructure, within the mind-body exercise groups' BA-temporal pole pathway. The average FA value of this pathway was positively correlated with KOOS pain score at baseline across all subjects.

Our findings suggest that physical exercise has the potential to modulate both functional and anatomical connectivity of the amygdala subregions, indicating a possible shared pathway for various physical exercise modalities.

Keywords: Amygdala subregions; Exercise; Functional magnetic resonance imaging; Knee osteoarthritis; Pain.

PMID: 38077287 PMCID: PMC10709058 DOI: 10.1016/j.ijchp.2023.100421