Handgrip Strength Is Related to Hippocampal and Lobar Brain Volumes in a Cohort of Cognitively Impaired Older Adults with Confirmed Amyloid Burden

Somayeh Meysami, Cyrus A. Raji, Ryan M. Glatt, Emily S. Popa, Aarthi S. Ganapathi, Tess Bookheimer, Colby B. Slyapich, Kyron P. Pierce, Casey J. Richards, Melanie G. Lampa, Jaya M. Gill, Molly K. Rapozo, John F. Hodes, Ynez M. Tongson, Claudia L. Wong, Mihae Kim, Verna R. Porter, Scott A. Kaiser, Stella E. Panos, Richelin V. DyeKaren J. Miller, Susan Y. Bookheimer, Neil A. Martin, Santosh Kesari, Daniel F. Kelly, Jennifer E. Bramen, Prabha Siddarth, David A. Merrill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Strength and mobility are essential for activities of daily living. With aging, weaker handgrip strength, mobility, and asymmetry predict poorer cognition. We therefore sought to quantify the relationship between handgrip metrics and volumes quantified on brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Objective: To model the relationships between handgrip strength, mobility, and MRI volumetry. Methods: We selected 38 participants with Alzheimer's disease dementia: biomarker evidence of amyloidosis and impaired cognition. Handgrip strength on dominant and non-dominant hands was measured with a hand dynamometer. Handgrip asymmetry was calculated. Two-minute walk test (2MWT) mobility evaluation was combined with handgrip strength to identify non-frail versus frail persons. Brain MRI volumes were quantified with Neuroreader. Multiple regression adjusting for age, sex, education, handedness, body mass index, and head size modeled handgrip strength, asymmetry and 2MWT with brain volumes. We modeled non-frail versus frail status relationships with brain structures by analysis of covariance. Results: Higher non-dominant handgrip strength was associated with larger volumes in the hippocampus (p=0.02). Dominant handgrip strength was related to higher frontal lobe volumes (p=0.02). Higher 2MWT scores were associated with larger hippocampal (p=0.04), frontal (p=0.01), temporal (p=0.03), parietal (p=0.009), and occipital lobe (p=0.005) volumes. Frailty was associated with reduced frontal, temporal, and parietal lobe volumes. Conclusion: Greater handgrip strength and mobility were related to larger hippocampal and lobar brain volumes. Interventions focused on improving handgrip strength and mobility may seek to include quantified brain volumes on MR imaging as endpoints.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)999-1006
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2023


  • Brain volumes
  • handgrip
  • mobility
  • prevention


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