Monday, June 21, 2010

Obesity linked to brain shrinkage and dementia

I follow the blog called Neurophilosophy, which usually updates with a new article every week. The sparse posting is well worth the wait because the articles are always incredibly enlightening, well researched and written so that a novice such as myself can easily understand them. The author describes themself as a "molecular and developmental neurobiologist turned science writer".

I found this week's post particularly interesting. The entire article can be found here:
THE dangers of obesity are very well known. Being overweight is associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease and stroke, the two leading causes of death in the Western world. Gout is more common in overweight people, with the risk of developing the condition increasing in parallel with body weight. Obese people are twice as likely to develop type 2 diabetes as those who are not overweight, and being overweight is also associated with several types of cancer. The list goes on...
Less well known is the effect of obesity on the brain. In the past few years, however, it has emerged that being overweight in middle age is linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer's Disease and other forms of dementia. Two new studies strengthen this association: the first, just published in the Annals of Neurology, shows that abdominal fat is linked to reduced brain volume in otherwise healthy middle-aged adults. The second, published last month in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows that this reduction is associated with a common variant of an obesity-related gene.

1 comment:

erin machniak said...

*puts the doughnut down*

Alright, alright!