The learning, memory, and judgment regions of the brain show patterns of shrinkage. Some of the damage could be reversed by losing weight, according to experts.
A higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia has been linked to being overweight in midlife. Obese people exhibit some of the same brain changes as those with Alzheimer’s, according to a new study.
In the first direct comparison of obesity and Alzheimer’s brain shrinkage, scientists at McGill University analyzed brain scans of more than 1,300 people.
A report in Tuesday’s Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease reveals similar thinning in the brains of both groups in regions involved in learning, memory, and judgment.
Studies have found that obese people are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease due to changes in their bodies. This includes damage to the brain’s blood vessels and abnormal protein accumulations. The latest research is taking this to the next level.
Filip Morys, a postdoctoral neuroscience researcher at McGill University, said the study’s first author showed a similarity between obese people and those with Alzheimer’s. There is a direct correlation between cerebral cortex thickness and performance.”
Speech, perception, memory, and judgment are all performed by the cerebral cortex, the outer layer of the brain.
According to Morys, shrinkage of brain cells occurs in that region when the brain thins.
Overweight and obese people with a BMI between 25 and 24.9 may benefit from losing weight to slow cognitive decline.
The target weight could not be identified by Morys.