Zip Codes Are More than a Number: Study Finds Link between Neighborhoods and Memory-related Brain Structures

A recent study showed that research participants in the most highly disadvantaged neighborhoods had smaller hippocampal areas compared to research participants in more advantaged neighborhoods. The study’s first author explains the results and the tools researchers used to measure neighborhood disadvantage. Guest: Jack Hunt, PhD, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health Medical Scientist Training Program

Episode Topics:

  • Association between neighborhood and brain structures: 1:52
  • Study findings: 4:01
  • Defining neighborhood disadvantage: 4:57
  • Who were the research participants involved in the study? 5:42
  • Why did you study the hippocampus in your research? 6:10
  • Related cardiovascular factors: 8:20
  • Using the Neighborhood Atlas to find neighborhood advantage by zip code: 10:22
  • Neighborhoods disadvantage and individual socioeconomic status: 13:17
  • Future research opportunities: 14:26
  • What can people in the community do with the results of this study? 17:36
  • Follow-up study: 18:23

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Jack Hunt, PhD

Show Notes

"Association of Neighborhood-Level Disadvantage with Cerebral and Hippocampal Volume" was published in JAMA Neurology online on January 6, 2020. 

Read a summary of Hunt's publication.

Hunt and his co-authors defined the socioeconomic status of neighborhoods using the Neighborhood Atlas tool.