Past research has shown that the risk of developing Alzheimer’s is 35% higher for those who are obese.
However new research may offer some hope for those worrying about developing this condition.
A new study at the University of São Paulo in Brazil has discovered that weight loss surgery can provide positive benefits on your brain activity.
Professor Cintia Cercato had this to say:
“When we studied obese women prior to bariatric surgery, we found some areas of their brains metabolised sugars at a higher rate than normal weight women.”
“In particular, obesity led to altered activity in a part of the brain linked to the development of Alzheimer’s disease – the posterior cingulate gyrus. Since bariatric surgery reversed this activity, we suspect the procedure may contribute to a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.”
What is bariatric surgery?
Often used as a last resort, bariatric surgery is when the size of the stomach is reduced or the distance the food travels is shortened; ensuring the food consumed does not have sufficient time to be absorbed.
These 2 procedures are available on the NHS, although there are considerable risks involved, like any major surgery.
They can also be performed privately, although the cost is often too much for the majority of people.
What did the study discover?
This study looked at the Roux,enY gastric bypass procedure that combines the 2 popular types of bariatric surgery.
When looking at the impact of bariatric surgery on 17 obese patients compared to a ‘control’ group of 16 lean patients, the team of researchers discovered that the mental functions linked with planning, strategy and organisation were all improved.
Professor Cercato also stated:
“The increased brain activity the obese women exhibited before undergoing surgery did not result in improved cognitive performance, which suggests obesity may force the brain to work harder to achieve the same level of cognition.”
The full results of this study will be published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, published by the Endocrine Society.