The Effects of the BAILAMOS Dance Program on Hippocampal Volume in Older Latinos

Jacqueline Guzman, Susan Aguinaga, Guilherme M Balbim, Melissa Lamar, Isabela G Marques, David X Marquez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hippocampal atrophy is associated with cognitive decline. Physical activity (PA) can reverse the hippocampal loss. This study investigated the effects of the 4 month BAILAMOS dance program on hippocampal volume and self-reported PA in Latinos. Participants were randomized to the BAILAMOS dance program or waitlist control group (N = 14, n = 10 intervention, n = 4 waitlist, 67 ± 6.1 years old, 70% female). Hippocampal volumes were derived from Magnetic Resonance Imaging whole-brain T1-weighted images. Participants self-reported PA through the Community Healthy Activities Model Program for Seniors Physical Activity Questionnaire for older adults. There were no statistically significant changes in hippocampal volume preintervention to postintervention (F[1, 8] = .077, p = .79, d = .05) and no associations between PA change and hippocampal volume (F[4, 13] = .71, p = .61). However, dance participants self-reported more PA (d = .54) compared to the control. These findings demonstrate that the BAILAMOS dance program did not decrease hippocampal atrophy; however, it increased self-reported PA. Future studies should include longer and more cognitively demanding interventions to determine whether dance can reduce cognitive decline through hippocampal changes.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberibab009
JournalTranslational Behavioral Medicine
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


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